New Mexico invaded by Feral Hogs; Michigan to consider lifting 3-year ban on Deer baiting; New Mexico reports 3rd human Hantavirus case and 2nd human Bubonic Plague case this year; Rabies reports from Arizona, Colorado, Illinois (2), New York (2), North Carolina, Virginia, and Wyoming; and Pennsylvania school presents Lyme Disease program. Canada: Rabies report from Ontario.

Feral hogs trapped by the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service. Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

New Mexico 05/27/11 by Celina Westervelt – Part of the state is being taken over by feral hogs. Not only can these animals be dangerous, but they are also costly because they’re known to eat and trample everything in sight. Four years ago feral hogs were found in just three counties in New Mexico. Now they have invaded more than 17. The USDA and Game and Fish are encouraging people to shoot wild hogs on private property on the spot. “They’re increasing because they reproduce so easily and exponentially,” said Sandra Barraza Program Director for Roswell’s Agriculture Extension Office. “They have high numbers of litters and a lot of those make it.” An adult female feral hog has two litters a year, and with about eight piglets per litter, Barraza said it doesn’t take long for populations to expand. The animals are the ultimate omnivores feasting on everything from lizards and frogs to farmer’s crops. “They go in and dig up the ground with their snout,” Barraza explained. “They eat up the root. They eat up the plant themselves, and they root around equipment water areas. They can even mess up roads and cause a major mess.” She added feral hogs are known to damage irrigation lines and fences. Barraza said that destruction can be extensive and quite costly. Besides the economic damage, another major concern is disease. The non-native wild pigs can carry a form a rabies (pseudorabies) that’s transmittable to people and animals. They can also spread a bacteria(l disease) called Swine Brucellosis. If cattle catch it, they can’t be sold. “That is one of the main reasons why we are very concerned about them,” Barraza exclaimed. “That disease can be transmitted to livestock, which could be an economic loss to people.” Feral hogs, or wild pigs as they are also called, are found mainly along the river in Roswell and likely migrated from Texas where the animals are abundant and extremely destructive. USDA officials said they were also brought to New Mexico in the early 1990’s for commercial and sport hunting. Hunting feral hogs is legal in the state, but organized hog hunts are not. Due to population increases, residents who spot the creatures on their property are encouraged to kill them. People do eat wild hogs. Members of the USDA stated anyone who plans to do so, needs to be extra careful because of disease. Barraza also encourages anyone who kills one on their property, to contact Game and Fish so it can be tested.

Michigan 05/28/11 by Jim Lynch – Few debates among Michigan’s deer hunters spark passion like the legality or morality of baiting. And the state is plunging back into the issue as it considers lifting a three-year ban on the practice. Michigan’s Natural Resources Commission will meet June 9 to discuss the restriction, enacted in August 2008 after chronic wasting disease was found at a deer breeding operation in Kent County. By barring hunters in the Lower Peninsula from using piles of feed like apples, sugar beets or carrots to lure deer to a specific site to shoot, state wildlife officials hoped to stop the spread of the disease. Since that time, there have been no new cases of the disease, a neurological disorder that causes extreme weight loss and eventually death in deer. As a result, the ban’s future is in doubt. But the issue is about more than deer health. Michigan has nearly 700,000 deer hunters, and to many of them, it’s an issue of right and wrong — hunting as an art form versus hunting as recreation.  (For complete article go to

New Mexico 05/27/11 The New Mexico Health Department reports that a 39-year-old man from McKinley County has been hospitalized with Hantavirus and is in critical condition at University Hospital in Albuquerque.  This is the third case of Hantavirus reported in New Mexico this year.  The first was a 51-year-old woman, also from McKinley County, who died in January, and the second was a 35-year-old man from Torrance County, who died earlier this month.

New Mexico 05/27/11 by Lauren Zimmerman – A Santa Fe man has been diagnosed with New Mexico’s second case of Bubonic Plague this year. Today, a 78-year-old man was hospitalized and is recovering from the plague, which is a bacterial disease linked to fleas and rodents. The first case was reported in early May in a 58-year-old man from the same area.

Arizona 05/27/11 by Christopher Francis – A Pinal County man is undergoing preventative treatments after coming face to face with a rabid skunk. According to Pinal County Public Health workers, the sneaky skunk slipped in through a dog door and up to a Mammoth-San Manuel man while he was sleeping.  He felt a paw at his face, and when he woke up, he found the skunk staring him down.  Health workers say the man managed to get the skunk outside and killed it with a shovel.  Tests show it had rabies, a deadly disease that can be transmitted to humans from animals through bites and other contact with bodily fluids. “Although this situation may paint an amusing picture, the outcome is far from amusing,” Pinal County Public Health Director Tom Schryer explained in a press release.  “The gentleman will have to undergo a series of vaccinations to prevent the rabies infection and, if he cannot prove that his family pets are current on their vaccinations, they will be quarantined or euthanized.” Pinal County health workers say the skunk is the fourth rabid animal found in the eastern part of the county since the beginning of the year.  All of the animals were skunks, found in Oracle, Kearny and Mammoth within the past few months.  There has not been a documented case of human rabies in Pinal County for decades, workers say.

Colorado 05/27/11 Bent County Public Health is warning people to vaccinate their pets against rabies and avoid wildlife. The warning comes after health officials announced another skunk tested positive for rabies on Wednesday.  A total of three skunks have been infected with rabies in the county from August 2010 to now.  Health officials said the latest skunk was found just east of the Las Animas city limits.

Illinois 05/27/11 by Claudia Lenart – A bat killed by two cats in a Lake Villa home tested positively for rabies on May 20 and another bat found outside a Waukegan dog kennel also tested positively for rabies on May 23. The cats were given rabies booster shots and the dogs were determined to not have had contact with the bat, according to a news release from the Lake County Health Department.

Illinois 05/26/11 The year’s first case of wildlife rabies was recorded Saturday in Will County when a rabid bat was found dead outside a southwest suburban home. The bat was found beneath a deck of a home on Pinecrest Road in Bolingbrook on May 21, according to a release from the Will County Health Dept. Its remains were taken to Will County Animal Control for shipment to the Illinois Dept. of Public Health for laboratory analysis. Seven people and three dogs live on the property, but no human exposures were found, the release said. All three dogs were current on their rabies vaccinations.

New York 05/27/11 by Lizzie Hedrick – The Westchester County Department of Health is issuing a rabies alert to residents who may have had contact with a rabid cat in the vicinity of Club Lane, a cul de sac off the Knollwood Road extension in Greenburgh, prior to Thursday, May 25. The cat was jet black with a matted coat and large green eyes and was taken to an animal hospital for treatment Thursday because it was staggering and had tremors, Health Department officials report.  The cat died at the hospital and test results confirmed Friday it was rabid. “Anyone who believes that he may have had contact with this cat should contact the Westchester County Department of Health immediately at (914) 813-5000 to assess the need for rabies treatment,” said Westchester County Acting Commissioner of Health, Dr. Cheryl Archbald. “Anyone bitten by a rabid animal, or having contact with its saliva, may need to receive immediate rabies vaccination.”

New York 05/26/11 The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the publics’ help in locating a cat they say very likely has rabies. The cat attacked a dog Thursday morning and was last seen on Main Street in the Village of Forestville. The feline is described as all black, medium sized and very skinny with short hair. If you see it, do not try and approach it, but contact the Chautauqua County Health Department immediately at 1-866-604-6789.

North Carolina 05/27/11 Health officials recorded the county’s fifth rabies case of the year this week. A fox found on Burntleaf Place in Greensboro had contact with one person. People should report stray animals, animals acting strangely or exposures to sick animals to Animal Control at 641-5990 in Greensboro or 883-3224 in High Point.

Pennsylvania 05/28/11 Elverson – The Twin Valley High School LiveWell Committee will be presenting a film on the dangers of Lyme Disease at 6:30 p.m. June 2. “Under Our Skin” talks about ways to diagnose, treat and prevent the disease, and explains some of the symptoms associated with it, including impulsivity, memory problems, fatigue and more. The movie is free and is open to the public at the high school. For additional information, contact or 610-633-9286.

Virginia 05/27/11 by Cody Lowe – A dead gray fox found in the Hollins area of Roanoke County has tested positive for rabies. The Virginia Department of Health began contacting residents door-to-door in and around the 7000 block of Friendship Lane about the incident earlier this week. The rabies test results were determined on May 19. Bobby Parker, the department’s spokesman for the Southwest Region, said many residents of the area, which is near the intersection of Plantation Road and Interstate 81, reported multiple sightings of animals – including gray foxes – acting unusually just before the dead fox was found. It was not clear if several people saw the same fox, or if multiple foxes were involved, he said, although there were reports of a fox fighting with a raccoon and another of a fox fighting with a groundhog.  Parker said it was unclear if the tested animal died of rabies, other natural causes or a fight with another animal. He said it did not appear that it had been killed, either intentionally or accidentally, by contact with humans. Nor was there any evidence of contact with humans. Parker said another animal – a raccoon – was found in the same general area Thursday, but that rabies test results for it are not expected before Tuesday at the earliest. In the meantime, the department continues to ask that residents report any sightings of unusual animal behavior be reported to their local animal control office – for Roanoke County that is at 777-8606. All animal bites should also be reported to the Roanoke Health Department at 204-9775. About 600 cases of rabies are confirmed in Virginia animals each year.

Wyoming 05/26/11 The second rabid skunk this year has been found in southeast Wyoming, prompting warnings to get pets vaccinated. An infected skunk was caught Tuesday just south of the Cheyenne city limits. The city animal shelter says three dogs came in contact with the skunk. Two of the dogs had their rabies vaccine and will be quarantined for 45 days. The third dog wasn’t current on its vaccine and will be quarantined for six months at home. A rabid skunk was found in the area in January, the first case since 1984.


Ontario 05/27/11 Oxford County Public Health & Emergency Services is seeking information following a dog-biting incident in Tillsonburg. A female teen was bitten by a Dobermann Pinscher-like dog on Potters Road by the train tracks in town Monday, May 23 at 1:00 p.m. The identity of the dog and its owner are unknown. The dog was being walked on a leash with a second Dobermann Pinscher-like dog by a man with a grayish-red beard estimated to be in his late 40s to early 50s. Accurate information about the dog may allow the teen to avoid a series of rabies vaccinations. The dog owner, anyone who witnessed this scenario, or anyone with information about the dog and its owner is strongly encouraged to contact Public Health Inspector Serena Roberts at Oxford County Public Health at 519-539-9800, ext. 3453.


One response to “New Mexico invaded by Feral Hogs; Michigan to consider lifting 3-year ban on Deer baiting; New Mexico reports 3rd human Hantavirus case and 2nd human Bubonic Plague case this year; Rabies reports from Arizona, Colorado, Illinois (2), New York (2), North Carolina, Virginia, and Wyoming; and Pennsylvania school presents Lyme Disease program. Canada: Rabies report from Ontario.

  1. Great article. Being a Home Inspector in the New York Metro area I have seen and dealt with numerous cases of animals infected with rabies. We have recently had an outbreak of coyotes and “coydogs” as well and there have been numerous reports of domestic animals being infected with rabies and being attacked by coydogs. Public awareness is the key and your article helps spread the word to beware and be careful.

    Thanks from all of us at MyHomeInspector.Biz

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s