Category Archives: Wildlife Rehabilitation

MONTANA Fish & Wildlife officers rescue CANADIAN CARIBOU ~ WASHINGTON hiker says three COYOTES attacked his DOGS ~ CANADA: BC residents warns DOG owners to protect pets against RACCOON ROUNDWORM.

Caribou bull. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Montana 04/27/12 by Rob Chaney – We finally get a new caribou in Montana, and we have to give it back. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists thought they were recovering the satellite collar of a British Columbia caribou that apparently wandered into the mountains near Eureka and died. But when they reached it on Thursday morning, the recovery mission turned into a rescue. “I was looking for signs of blood or hair,” FWP wildlife manager Jim Williams said on Friday. “I saw wolf tracks, and then we found a drag mark, so I’m thinking mountain lion. All of a sudden this head pops up, and there’s a caribou looking at us.” The mountain caribou cow was bigger than a mule deer but smaller than an elk. It was one of 19 transplanted into the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia on March 3. For the past 10 days, it had been wandering the forests south of the Canadian border, swimming across Lake Koocanusa three times. Then B.C. Ministry of Forest Lands and Natural Resource Operations wildlife biologist Leo DeGroot got a “mortality signal” from the collar, indicating the animal hadn’t moved for at least six hours. He called Williams in Kalispell and asked if FWP could find the carcass and learn what happened. “I was expecting at end of day to have a call on what it had died from,” DeGroot said from his office in Nelson, B.C. “Instead they called and said they have it live in the back of their truck.”

Williams and fellow FWP biologists Tim Manley and Tim Their snowmobiled up into the Pinkham Creek area south of Eureka, guided by the caribou’s GPS signal. They found it lying in some bushes, able to lift its head but not its body. Knowing how much investment their B.C. colleagues had put into the transplant effort, the Montana biologists decided to bring the caribou to care. They had no tranquilizers, but the cow didn’t resist their efforts to move it onto a sled. Williams said its legs seemed “rubbery.” “We assumed starvation, although it didn’t look thin — it looked good,” Williams said. “Then Tim Manley noticed a bunch of big gray ticks behind its ears. Tim had llamas, and he knew they can get tick paralysis. It can kill the animal, or it can be just fine in three or four hours.” They got the caribou to veterinarian Nancy Haugan at Mountain Vista Clinic in Eureka. Haugan gave it some antibiotics and IV fluids, and the cow began a dramatic improvement. Williams went to call DeGroot. “I told him not only do we not have a carcass, we have a live caribou — I assume you want her back,” Williams said. “Leo set the wheels in motion to work with the Border Patrol.” That involved getting special permission from both U.S. and Canadian border authorities to let the animal drive through the border it had previously walked across. A Cranbrook wildlife biologist hitched up a horse trailer and met the Montanans 30 minutes north of the border. – For complete article see

Washington 04/27/12 South Hill, Pierce County: Two dogs, both Labrador retrievers, running loose on a hike with their owner on the South Hill bluff trails earlier this week when they were attacked by three coyotes below High Drive and Manito Boulevard just above the Creek at Qualchan Golf Course. While both dogs survived they suffered nasty wounds. – See


British Columbia 04/28/12 North Saanich, Vancouver Island: by Sandra McCulloch, – A North Saanich dog owner is warning others to worm their pets monthly in order to protect against the spread of Baylisascaris procyonis, commonly known as raccoon roundworm. Alison Gunn lost two Weimaraners, Poppy and Forest, in November after they became infected with the parasite. “I really want people to know [deworming] is important,” Gunn said Friday. “I don’t want anyone else to go through the kind of pain that I have.” Poppy and Forest died within two weeks of each other after developing uterine infections as a result of the roundworm infestation. One of Gunn’s four remaining dogs has an unbalanced gait, possibly from nerve damage, and another has a lump on its head.

Blood tests sent to the National Reference Centre for Parasitology at McGill University in Montreal have shown that all of Gunn’s dogs have been exposed to the roundworm, so Gunn is following a regimented schedule of monthly deworming. The larvae can cause symptoms in dogs that include lethargy, stiff joints or paralysis, seizures, blindness and death. The parasite moves from raccoons to dogs through the raccoons’ waste, said veterinarian Sue McTaggart. “It doesn’t take very many eggs to infect the dog,” McTaggart said. While the worms reside peacefully inside the guts of raccoons, they wreak havoc in dogs. “The little larvae migrate into the spinal cord, into the eye and up into the brain,” McTaggart said.

The raccoon roundworm also can infect people and horses, although it’s rare to find it in humans. There have been 15 confirmed cases of raccoon roundworm in humans resulting in four fatalities, she said. Children should be supervised when playing in areas frequented by raccoons and should be careful not to ingest any dirt or particulates, McTaggart said. She also recommends wearing gloves in the garden and wherever there are raccoons, and says people should not feed raccoons. “They multiply as fast as cats do.” Treatment involves monthly deworming. The medication is available through veterinarians’ offices. “We recommend people use the best and strongest [worming medication],” McTaggart said. It could take a year of monthly worming treatments to kill off the larvae, she said. “We’re telling everybody to worm their dogs once a month – you’ve got to do it.”

CALIFORNIA military vets help to transition Alaskan WOLF-DOGS at rescue center ~ RABIES reports from ARKANSAS, CALIFORNIA, MARYLAND, VIRGINIA, & WISCONSIN ~ CANADA: MANITOBA searching for ELK that escaped from SASKATCHEWAN farm to prevent spread of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE.

Wolf-Dog Hybrid. Photo by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Follow-Up Reports:

(June 20, 2011: Alaska officials suspect animals at Wolf Country USA are illegal hybrids.)

Wolf-Dog Hybrid. Photo by Wisconsin DNR.

California 03/13/12 by Sue Manning – It’s been three months since a California animal rescue center retrieved 29 wolf-dogs from an Alaska tourist attraction that had fought the state over owning, breeding and selling the wolf-hybrids. Chains were so deeply embedded in the necks of two of the animals that they had to be surgically removed. Many developed limps because they’d never used the pads of their feet. Now the task of taming the wolf-dogs has been given to three U.S. military veterans who say they can relate to the stress of trying to transition to a normal life. The program is called “Warriors and Wolves.” “I get along with the wolves,” said one of the three, Stanley McDonald, a 10-year Navy vet who has been foreman of the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center in Frazier Park, about 75 miles northwest of Los Angeles, for 4 1/2 years. McDonald said he knows what it is like to be homeless, alone and lost. “They’ve been in a bad situation, which I’ve been in most of my life. Most of them are afraid, taken away from the only thing they knew,” he said. “A great number of people are coming back from a combat environment and that’s as stressful as can be. It’s difficult to transition from that to civilian life,” said William “Buzz” Varley, a Lockwood volunteer and retired Navy man who works for the California Department of Transportation.

The wolf-dogs are now thriving in small packs of two to six animals after joining 12 wolf-dogs already at the shelter, according to Lorin Lindner, who founded Lockwood with her husband, Navy veteran Matthew Simmons, in 2008. Lindner said the wolf-dogs, who normally travel up to 40 miles a day, had been tethered in Alaska. Once they had room to run at Lockwood, they went lame because their muscles were not acclimated to the exercise. “It’s taken three months, but we are just now noticing them running without limps,” Lindner said. The animals are fed high-priced, high-quality kibble made of buffalo, venison and game birds, in addition to five to 10 pounds of meat each day. As part of a landfill diversion program, markets in the area give the rescue group their expired meats “so we are not killing any additional animals to feed the wolf-dogs,” Lindner said. In Alaska, they had been fed raw moose meat to keep them looking good so tourists could get close enough to the animals to take their pictures for a $5 fee.

Before the wolf-dogs arrived, Lindner and Simmons were running the sanctuary on $10,700 a month. But with the new arrivals, that’s jumped to $15,500 a month, including salaries for the three veterans. To help pay the bills, Lindner and Simmons are inviting supporters of the sanctuary to volunteer, donate or sponsor a veteran or a wolf-dog or plant a fruit tree (it helps feed birds) in honor of a loved one. Lindner, Simmons, the vets and volunteers built enclosures for the animals on their 20-acre sanctuary. Standing 10 feet tall, the enclosures include dig guards that are buried 5 feet deep. Because some of the animals have bad hips and arthritis, Simmons is building soft-webbed trundle beds so they can sleep off the ground. They’ve put out a plea to firehouses since old fire hose makes the best webbing. Lindner’s veterinarian took the sickest wolf-dog (she has another hybrid) and four of the animals have gone to other rescues. Eight others will be placed with other sanctuaries if those centers can build the proper enclosures.

Besides the wolf-dogs, Lockwood has four rescued horses, 16 parrots, six peacocks and a duck. “We rescued 33 koi fish from a house that was in foreclosure. My husband made a 200,000-gallon pond and now we have thousands of fish,” Lindner said. Lindner and Simmons also built a parrot sanctuary at the Greater Los Angeles Veteran’s Administration Healthcare System complex, where Lindner worked as clinical director of New Directions, a program serving homeless veterans with drug or alcohol problems. McDonald, 48, is the wolf program’s biggest booster. He says he has been an alcoholic since he was 18. He spent 10 years in the Navy and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. “I wasn’t a mean or angry drunk,” he said. “I would just take everything we had to buy alcohol.” Lindner met McDonald at New Directions, before “Warriors and Wolves.” McDonald says he’s learned from the animals and knew if he could help them, he could help himself. “I made a wonderful change,” he said. Since working with the animals, he’s begun reconciling with his ex-wife and reconnected with a son, now 19, whom he’d lost touch with. His son didn’t trust him at first, McDonald said. “It took some work by both of us. It took a lot of forgiving,” said McDonald. “I’m back with my family doing things I love to do.”

Arkansas 03/12/12 Boone County: Authorities have reported at least seven confirmed cases of rabies so far this year. A public health official said statewide 20 skunks have tested positive for rabies so far this year compared to 35 all of last year. See

California 03/12/12 Hollister, San Benito County: A dead bat found at the Methodist Preschool on Monterey Street tested positive for rabies. Officials said there was no human exposure. A rabid bat was also found outside a classroom at San Benito High School six months ago. See

Maryland 03/12/12 Elkton, Cecil County: Health officials say they’ve seen as many rabies cases so far this year as in all of last year. Four cases involving a skunk and three raccoons have already been confirmed. See

Virginia 03/12/12 Bristol: Police are urging residents to be certain pets have been vaccinated after a skunk found in the 1700 block of Lee Highway tested positive for rabies. See

Wisconsin 03/12/12 Madison, Dane County: City and county officials are looking for a dog that bit a woman on Paso Roble Lane on Sunday, March 11. The dog is described as a German Shepherd-type dog, black with grey in color and medium sized. He bit the woman while she was walking on the sidewalk. The dog was being walked on a leash by a man of medium height and build, possibly in his late 40s or early 50s, wearing a baseball hat and jacket. If the animal is not found, the victim may be required to complete a series of painful and costly injections to prevent rabies. Officials said that anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the police and fire dispatcher at 608-255-2345 and ask for the animal services officer. See


Bull Elk. Courtesy National Park Service.

Manitoba 03/13/12 Escaped elk from Saskatchewan are being hunted from the air by Manitoba’s Conservation Department. Conservation officials are using plane and helicopter surveillance over western Manitoba to kill at least nine escaped farm elk from Saskatchewan that could spread chronic wasting disease (CWD) to Manitoba’s wild elk, Conservation Minister Gord Mackintosh said. The animals escaped from farms in Saskatchewan a year ago. Conservation spokesman Vince Crichton said crews are focused on areas near Swan River to root out the animals so they can be shot. “They’ve got the ear tags on them so it’s a matter of getting down close to look at individual animals and to herd the ones out that have the ear tag on them and, you know, put them down.”

Elk with CWD.

CWD is a fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of deer and elk. In the early 1980s, it was detected in free-ranging elk in northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming. It has since been found in farmed-elk herds in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and other jurisdictions. Many elk farms have had to destroy entire herds because of CWD. “Our diligence in monitoring and responding to the threat of chronic wasting disease has prevented it from spreading to Manitoba so far,” Mackintosh said. “We’ve seen the devastating effect the disease has had on wildlife in neighbouring jurisdictions and this latest action is essential to keep our elk healthy.” While CWD has become a serious problem in Saskatchewan and Alberta, no confirmed cases have been found in Manitoba. There is no evidence to show that CWD can affect humans but the World Health Organization recommends against consuming infected animals.

CALIFORNIA police find two MOUNTAIN LION cubs under car in Burbank ~ UTAH DNR finds CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE in new area ~ FOLLOW-UP REPORTS: SOUTH CAROLINA woman with RABIES has died.

A mountain lion cub. Photo by California Fish & Game.

California 12/20/11 Police say two badly malnourished mountain lion cubs were found hiding under a car in Burbank and taken to a wildlife center for recovery. City News Service reports that the animals were taken to the California Wildlife Center in Calabasas on Tuesday after animal shelter workers were called to the vehicle on East Orange Grove Avenue. Police Sgt. Darin Ryburn said there were reports that some residents tried to hit the cubs with brooms. The animals appear to not have been fed by their mother in a few weeks. The cubs were put with another litter at the wildlife center in hopes they would be accepted and cared for. The facility tries to rehabilitate animals that belong in the wild but have been injured or orphaned.

Utah 12/20/11 A deer infected with chronic wasting disease has been found in a new area in Utah. That’s not a surprise, though—the new area is next to an area where the disease has been for years. Technicians at the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Logan have finished testing tissue samples taken from more than 1,200 deer, elk and moose this fall. Hunters across Utah took the animals, and biologists with the Division of Wildlife Resources collected the samples.

Deer with CWD

One of the deer that was taken on the San Juan deer hunting unit in southeastern Utah tested positive for the disease. This is the first time a deer from the unit has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). Leslie McFarlane, wildlife disease coordinator for the DWR, says she’s not surprised that a deer from the San Juan unit tested positive for CWD. “We’ve found deer with CWD on the La Sal Mountains,” she says. “The La Sal Mountains are just north of the San Juan unit.”

Follow-Up Reports:

(See December 17, 2011; SOUTH CAROLINA DHEC confirmed case of HUMAN RABIES.)

South Carolina 12/20/11 by Tenessa Jennings – A Sumter County woman who became South Carolina’s first case of human rabies in more than 50 years has died, according to the coroner. Sumter Coroner Havrin Bullock said 46-year-old Ivey Durant died from complications from rabies. Officials believe she was bitten by a bat.

DEER gets unofficial pardon from WISCONSIN governor ~ FOLLOW-UP REPORTS: The now famous OREGON GRAY WOLF known as OR-7 is still traveling alone ~ RABIES reports from NEW JERSEY, NORTH CAROLINA, and RHODE ISLAND.

White-tailed deer fawn. PD. Wikimedia Commons.

Wisconsin 12/16/11 Gov. Scott Walker has given an unofficial pardon to an orphaned deer the state had threatened to euthanize. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recently sent a letter to 49-year-old Marvin Graaf of Lake Geneva. It asked him to surrender the deer so she can be euthanized since she’s tame came from a chronic wasting disease area. The deer was living on his farm for 15 months since her mother was hit by a car. Graaf nursed the then-fawn back to health and his ex-wife named her Charlotte. DNR spokesman Bill Cosh said officials are discussing possibly sending Charlotte to a wildlife rehabilitation facility.

Follow-Up Reports:

(See November 3, 2011: Lone GRAY WOLF in Oregon travels 300 miles crossing Cascades looking for mate and new territory; November 12, 2011: Oregon Wild launches CONTEST for youngsters to come up with new name for a lone GRAY WOLF known only as OR-7; November 15, 2011: OREGON’s OR-7 lone WOLF crosses into Jackson County; December 13, 2011: OREGON’s wandering lone WOLF – OR-7 – captures the imagination of a worldwide audience.)

Oregon 12/18/11 According to Richard Cockle, a reporter with The Oregonian, the 2 ½-year-old male gray wolf known internationally as OR-7, spent four days last week hanging about the south boundary of Crater Lake National Park. John Stephenson, a federal biologist, said that was unusual so he decided to see what OR-7 was up to. Using handheld GPS equipment, Stephenson found an elk carcass in the same general vicinity. Tracks in the area suggest that OR-7 is still traveling alone and probably won’t be siring more wolves in Oregon’s Cascades. He has now traveled about 730 miles since leaving his pack in the northeast corner of the state. – To read Cockle’s complete article go to

New Jersey 12/16/11 Middletown, Monmouth County:  Following separate incidents, a skunk and a raccoon have tested positive for rabies. See

North Carolina 12/19/11 Charlotte, Mecklenburg County: A coyote acting strangely in the vicinity of the Aldersgate retirement community was captured and has tested positive for rabies. See

Rhode Island 12/16/11 Smithfield, Providence County: Eleven people have been treated for rabies as a precaution after a pet cat tested positive for the virus. See

Massachusetts man says COYOTES killed one of his BUFFALO ~ New York’s Westchester County issues RABIES ALERT ~ California man and South Dakota woman each confront a MOUNTAIN LION to save their pets ~ California hospital looking for 6,000 people who received one or more of six vaccinations, including RABIES VACCINE, that may be subpotent ~ Florida’s Pinellas County finds four more SENTINEL CHICKENS with ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS ~ RABIES (animal) reports from Alabama, California, Connecticut, New Mexico, North Carolina (2), Ohio, South Carolina, & Washington ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (human & horse) reports from Delaware, Maryland, & Pennsylvania ~ and an EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS (horse) report from Michigan ~ Travel Warnings for The Bahamas, & Dominica.

American buffalo. PD. Wikimedia Commons.

Massachusetts 09/16/11 by Meghan Irons – Coyotes lurking in the woods in Massachusetts have been known to attack dogs, chickens, cats, and even, in rare instances, people. But a buffalo? You better believe it, pardner.  Tyler Kimball says it actually happened here on his farm in the dark of night on Saturday.

Wolf pack surrounding a buffalo

A pack of coyotes entered a pen where his 14 buffalos grazed. When they were done, one was missing.  The coyotes were sly, Kimball said. They separated a relatively young buffalo, 16 months old, from the rest of the herd, dragged it into a nearby swamp, and devoured it.  “All that was left was skin and bone,” said Kimball, who was keeping watch over the pen today as the herd huddled together and grazed on grass. Kimball decided to raise buffalos a few years ago after he visited a farm in Maine and ate buffalo meat. He raises the animals for their meat and uses them to protect chickens that are in a coop inside the pen. The animals are also huge attractions for visitors. After the coyote attack, he vowed to be vigilant in protecting the animals – armed, if necessary. “I’m going to come out here with my gun, and if I see one, I’ll shoot it,” he said.

New York 09/16/11 by Satta Sarmah – The Westchester County Department of Health issued an alert on Friday after rabid animals were spotted in five communities. The alert is for residents who may have had contact with a rabid skunk in Ossining, Mamaroneck, Scarsdale, or Katonah or a rabid raccoon in Yorktown. On Sept. 8, a man in Mamaroneck killed a rabid skunk with a metal rod after it chased him on Center Avenue. In Yorktown, a resident killed a rabid raccoon after it fought with two dogs on Kitchawan Road on Sept. 9. Four days later, a rabid skunk attacked a dog on Belle Avenue in Ossining and was eventually killed by police, while another rabid skunk in Scarsdale followed a dog into a yard before construction workers killed it by pummeling rocks at the animal. The latest rabid animal incident occurred on Thursday morning in Katonah. A sick skunk was found shaking in a front yard on Buckabee Place. Bedford police shot and killed the animal. No person had direct contact with any of the rabid animals, but the pets that did are receiving rabies booster shots. The health department used robo-calls to notify residents who live within a quarter-mile of the location where each of the animals was found. However, anyone who may have had contact with them should call the Westchester County Department of Health immediately at (914) 813-5000 to determine if rabies treatment is needed. For more information about rabies and its prevention, visit the Westchester County Health Department’s website at Residents also can call the RABIES INFOLINE at (914) 813-5010 to listen to a taped message.

California 09/16/11 by Nathan McIntire – A Monrovia resident chased away a mountain lion from his hillside neighborhood Thursday night, but not before it killed his cat. Maxwell Harvey was pulling up to his home in the 400 block of Lotone Street at about 10 p.m. Thursday when he saw the mountain lion in a neighbor’s driveway. He noticed it had something clasped in its jaws. “I saw something in its mouth but I didn’t know what it was,” Harvey said. “Then I saw it was my cat so I started to chase after it.” The mountain lion dropped the cat, an orange tabby named “Brett Favre,” in the street a few houses down before scampering back up into the foothills. Harvey said it came back down about an hour later looking for its kill, but he had already picked up the cat’s body. The Monrovia Police Department sent out a robo-call Friday warning residents about the mountain lion sighting. Residents in Sierra Madre also reported seeing a mountain lion roaming the streets on Monday.

South Dakota 09/17/11 by Andrea J. Cook – Jill Schad didn’t hesitate when she saw her Sheltie Kay’D clutched in a mountain lion‘s jaws. After calling for help, Schad grabbed a small bottle of antifreeze before advancing on the lion that had her pet in a death grip. “Your adrenalin just kind of takes over,” Schad said. “I just tried to save her.” Schad estimates she was within 18 inches of the lion that had either cornered or carried Kay’D into a boat shed Sept. 4. Game, Fish & Parks officials shot and killed the lion and a female traveling with it later that evening after the animals returned to the area. The killing of the two lions brings to 73 the number of documented lion deaths in South Dakota since the first of the year, Mike Kintigh, regional GF&P supervisor, said. Don and Jill Schad have lived two miles south of Cheyenne Crossing, on U.S. Highway 85, for more than 10 years. This is the first time they’ve seen mountain lions on the property that is surrounded by U.S. Forest Service land. – For complete article go to

California 09/16/11 Fremont Rideout Health Group is trying to reach about 6,000 people who received vaccines that may be subpotent. Letters were sent this week to patients who received six vaccines potentially affected by a refrigeration malfunction, a FRHG official said Friday. The hospital is offering revaccinations as a precautionary measure. The six vaccines were administered to fight pneumonia; measles, mumps and rubella; tetanus; pertussis; rabies; and Hepatitis B. The vaccinations in question date back to February 2010. Chance White, FRHG senior vice president and chief clinical officer, said the vaccines’ manufacturers and the Centers for Disease Control indicated there’s a “small chance” the vaccines could be subpotent. In addition to the free revaccinations, the hospital will offer recipients a vaccine against the 2011-12 flu strain, also at no charge. “The manufacturers and the CDC said there’s no danger in getting subpotent vaccines or having revaccinations,” White said. Addresses for everyone who received the vaccinations are on file, but the hospital is concerned some people may have moved and will not get the letter. In addition to issuing a media advisory, FRHG plans an ad about the revaccinations. The outreach was initiated after FRHG identified a malfunction in the refrigeration unit of the pharmacy used to store vaccines; it was getting colder than the temperature range recommended by the pharmaceutical manufacturer. Unable to retrieve all relevant electronic temperature data for the malfunctioning unit, the hospital decided to revaccinate everyone, White said. “The prudent thing is to offer the revaccinations,” said White. Questions regarding the vaccines and revaccinations can be directed to a hotline, 749-6654, or email

Florida 09/16/11 by Sunde Farquhar – Pinellas County officials are advising residents of southwest Florida to double efforts to protect themselves from mosquito bites. That is the message from Pinellas County Health officials, concerned about the risks of disease to humans. Four more sentinel chickens tested positive for St. Louis Encephalitis, bringing the total of infected chickens in the county to nine. Sentinel chickens are kept in eight locations throughout the county and are tested weekly for signs of arboviral diseases caused by mosquito bites. County officials say the chickens serve as an early-warning beacon, making them aware of disease-carrying mosquitoes that pose risks to humans. Chickens tested positive in St. Petersburg, Oldsmar, Tarpon Springs, Seminole and Palm Harbor.

Alabama 09/15/11 Houston County’s sixth animal rabies case for the year was discovered in a raccoon found at a residence on Clearmont Drive in Dothan. According to the Houston County Health Department, a resident found the raccoon fighting with his dogs and asked for the raccoon to be tested for rabies. There was no known human exposure to the rabid raccoon and the dogs involved are currently vaccinated for the rabies virus.

California 09/15/11 Chico Police say a rabid bat bit a young boy at Bidwell Park. The boy required treatment after the Butte County Public Health Laboratory confirmed the animal had rabies. According to a CPD press release, the incident occurred as the 6-year-old played on the grass on the north side of Sycamore Pool at the One-Mile Recreation Area.

Connecticut 09/15/11 by Stephanie Riefe – On September 14 at 4:23 p.m., the Simsbury Police Department responded to 18 Windham Drive in Simsbury. A resident witnessed a skunk attack a dog several times. Officers responded and located the skunk and it was exhibiting signs of sickness. Simsbury Animal Control Officer Mark Rudewicz delivered the skunk to the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for testing. On September 15, the Simsbury Police Department was informed by DPH that the skunk tested positive for rabies. If you, someone you know or any domesticated animals came into contact with a skunk in the area of Windham Drive within the last two weeks, it is recommend that you contact your doctor or veterinarian for advice. For any other questions or concerns, contact the Simsbury Police Department at 860-658-3100 or Animal Control Officer Mark Rudewicz at 860-658-3110. For further information, view the CT DPH Rabies website at

New Mexico 09/15/11 by Diana M. Alba – A rabid bat recently was found at an apartment complex on Solano Drive, a state health official confirmed. It was the first confirmed instance of rabies in Doña Ana County this year. The bat was found two weeks ago at the complex and picked up by city animal control personnel, who, believing it was suspect, shipped the specimen to a state health laboratory in Albuquerque, said Paul Ettestad, state public health veterinarian.

North Carolina 09/16/11 Wake County health officials say two cases of rabies were confirmed this week, in Wendell and Willow Springs. Both cases involved rabid foxes. In one case, the fox interacted with a dog that had not received a rabies vaccination and had to be put down. The foxes were found near the intersection of Quail Creek Drive and Eddie Howard Road in Willow Springs and near the intersection of Gillies Spring Lane and Wendell Boulevard in Wendell. Residents of both areas are urged to keep an eye out for animals that are acting strangely and to keep their pets close at hand. County officials ask anyone who sees an animal acting in an unusual manner to call Wake County Animal Control at 212-7387. Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by an unknown animal should call their physician or the county community health department at 250-4462.

North Carolina 09/15/11 by Donna Swicegood – A skunk that attacked a dog in western Iredell County recently has been confirmed to have rabies. Iredell County Animal Services Director Chris Royal said a dog, whose owners live on Doe Trail Lane, was attacked by the skunk.  One of the owners of the dog shot and killed the skunk, and the skunk’s body was sent off to Raleigh for testing. The test came back positive for rabies, Royal said. This is the fifth case of rabies this year in Iredell County, she said. The dog, she said, was injured in the attack and was taken to the veterinarian for treatment. However, because of the dog’s age — 14 — the owners decided to surrender it to animal control and it was euthanized, Royal said.

Ohio 09/15/11 by Jason Lea – A rabid skunk was collected in the northwest part of Mentor after it had an encounter with two unvaccinated dogs, according to the Lake County General Health District. To make sure they don’t spread the disease, the dogs will be subject to a six-month quarantine. This is the second rabid skunk found this year in Mentor. The first was located about two miles west in the northern, middle portion of Mentor in mid-July. It was captured during a routine Trap, Vaccinate and Release operation carried out by the USDA Wildlife Services. The skunk is believed to be infected with raccoon strain rabies. Since 2004, 136 animals with raccoon strain rabies have been found in Lake County, according to the health district. Health departments in northeast Ohio have distributed rabies vaccine for raccoons to eat. However, the vaccine is not effective in skunks. A new vaccine for skunks is undergoing trials and it is hoped it will be available for use locally next year. Citizens can call the Lake County General Health District at 440-350-2543 to report dead or sick animals and animals with odd behavior.

South Carolina 09/15/11 by Allison Stice – Three people who cared for an injured raccoon in Okatie are undergoing medical treatment after the animal tested positive for rabies, state health officials said Thursday.  Five others are being evaluated to see if they need the preventive inoculation against the virus, which is fatal to humans and animals once it reaches the brain.  The raccoon was found struggling to walk along a road in Okatie when a resident decided to take it home to nurse it, unaware that it was rabid, according to Adam Myrick, public information director for the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. When the animal’s condition worsened, it was taken to a veterinarian where it tested positive for rabies.  Now, two women and a child who handled the raccoon are being treated by a doctor. The animal did not bite them, but the virus can spread through scratches or saliva, Myrick said. DHEC is still determining how much contact five other people may have had with the raccoon.  “We cannot stress enough the importance of resisting the urge to adopt or feed wildlife,” Sue Ferguson of DHEC said in a news release. “Despite the prevalent folklore, there is no way to tell from looking at an animal whether or not it has rabies, and baby animals can carry the disease without showing the symptoms, as well.” The incident is the fifth confirmed rabid animal in Beaufort County this year. Last year’s total was five rabid animals, with 106 confirmed cases in the state.

Washington 09/16/11 A dead bat found inside a store on Olympia’s west side has tested positive for rabies, according to the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services department. According to a news release: Two customers found the bat Sept. 9 in the Halloween section of the Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store. The health department was notified Monday and sent the bat to the Washington State Public Health Laboratories for testing. Wednesday, the lab notified Public Health and Social Services that the bat had rabies. The pair who found the bat received rabies vaccinations as a precaution. County health officials are asking the store’s customers to call if they may have touched the bat at the store between Sept. 2 and Sept. 9. The health department can be reached at 360-867-2500. “People who walked, shopped, or worked at Jo-Ann’s are not at risk unless they came in contact with the bat,” Dr. Diana Yu, Thurston County Health Officer, said in the news release. A dozen to as many as 23 bats a year test positive for rabies statewide, said Tim Church, communications director for the state Department of Health. In 2010, out of 200 bats tested, 14 were positive, he said. Nine have tested positive this year, Church said.

New Castle County

Delaware 09/17/11 by Hiran Ratnayake – A 71-year-old man from New Castle County has been diagnosed with West Nile virus. The man has underlying health conditions and is hospitalized but his status was not released by the state’s Department of Health and Social Services Friday. “What we can release is that he is 71 and he is from New Castle County and that is the extent of what we can release,” said Jill Fredel, department spokeswoman. Between 2004 and 2009, the state had four cases of West Nile virus, according to the Delaware Division of Public Health. As of Sept. 13, there were 202 human cases of West Nile virus in the nation, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including seven deaths. Fredel said people spending time outside should stay covered up and use insect repellent to protect themselves from mosquitoes. “We have one confirmed case and [Delawareans] should be mindful of it,” Fredel said.

Sussex County

At the same time, state agricultural officials also said the health of a Sussex County horse with clinical signs of the West Nile Virus is improving. Tests to confirm the disease on the horse were inconclusive, according to Delaware’s Department of Agriculture, which was notified about the potential case Sep. 6. Delaware has not had a case of West Nile virus in a horse since 2003.

Prince George's County

Maryland 09/16/11 by Maggie Fazeli Fard – A New Carrollton resident has contracted West Nile virus, Prince George’s County’s first confirmed case of the virus in a human, officials announced Friday. There was no information available on the condition of the infected resident.

Pennsylvania 09/16/11 by Jill Daly – A Pittsburgh man, who is Allegheny County’s first case of West Nile virus this year, is now recovering at home after being hospitalized earlier this month. More details of the patient could not be released because of privacy concerns, but he is the first reported West Nile case since 2007, according to county Health Department spokesman Guillermo Cole.

Head pressing horse with EEE

Michigan 09/16/11 Officials are reporting Michigan’s first horse death this year related to Eastern equine encephalitis. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on Thursday announced that lab tests confirmed the diagnosis in a Midland County horse. Last year, the state says there were 56 confirmed horse fatalities related to Eastern equine encephalitis, which is spread by mosquitoes. Others were suspected but not confirmed through lab tests. Suspected cases should be reported to state officials. The disease is rare but can be deadly among humans. Health officials say people should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and horses should be vaccinated.

Travel Warnings:

The Bahamas 09/15/11 CDC Outbreak Notice –  Situation Information – The government of the Bahamas issued a public service advisory announcing heightened dengue activity in New Providence. This island is the most populous and includes the city of Nassau. As a result, the US Embassy in Nassau issued an emergency message for US citizens in the Bahamas related to dengue. In August, the Ministry of Health reported that more than 100 cases were being reported daily. Approximately 1,000 cases of dengue-like symptoms had been reported as of August 9. Mosquito bite prevention measures, such as fogging and communication campaigns, are under way in densely populated areas.

Dengue fever is the most common cause of fever in travelers returning from the Caribbean, Central America, and South Central Asia. Dengue is reported commonly from most tropical and subtropical countries of Oceania, Asia, the Caribbean, the Americas, and occasionally Africa. This disease is caused by four similar viruses (DENV-1, -2, -3, and -4) and is spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes.

Dengue virus transmission occurs in both rural and urban areas; however, dengue is most often reported from urban settings. For the most up-to-date information on dengue worldwide, see the DengueMap on the CDC website. For more information about other countries with dengue in the region, see the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

Dominica 09/16/11 – The Ministry of Health in Dominica is actively engaged in bringing an end to dengue fever and leptospirosis on the island. Health officials say they will boost intervention in an attempt to curb the outbreak of dengue fever, which has affected several persons in the Roseau area. So far there are no reported deaths from the outbreak but health officials say there have been 15 confirmed cases since the outbreak was first reported a few weeks ago. They are also awaiting the results on nine suspected cases. Dengue fever is spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito and symptoms include high fever, rash, severe headaches, back pain, eye pain, muscles and joint pain.

Meanwhile, the government of Dominica has received assistance from the Cuban government to help control the rodent population in Dominica. Over the past year close to fifty persons have contracted leptospirosis with seven confirmed deaths. The last two deaths were reported in May when Ricky Allport and Jonathan Wilson both succumbed to the disease. Just this month four new cases were reported. According to Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Johnson, “we are working with Cuban officials. We have evidence of a high population of rodents and because of that Leptospirosis is not under control.” Dr Johnson called on the general public to assist the authorities as they work on controlling the rodent population on the island. Leptospirosis is largely spread to humans from animals and rodents, particularly rats. The disease can cause severe fever, headache, muscle aches, abdominal pains, and vomiting.

Rhode Island’s Block Island deer population part of Yale professor’s Lyme Disease study; and Rabies reports from Georgia, South Dakota, and Texas. Canada: Wildlife Rehabilitation controversy in Alberta. Travel Warnings for Paraguay. Announcement of Lyme Disease Forums in Virginia (2).

Rhode Island 03/12/11  The deer hunting season is over, but the Block Island deer population remained a target last week, though for a far different type of hunter. Flying 1,000 feet above the island wildlife biologist Susan Bernatas trained her sights on deer, capturing images with a “forward-look infrared” (FLIR) camera in an effort to produce as accurate a deer count as possible.  Bernatas, the president and founder of Vision Air

Dr. Durland Fish, Dept. of Epidemiology & Public Health, Yale School of Medicine.

Research, was on island last week performing the census for Yale professor Dr. Durland Fish, who is studying the deer population and Lyme disease on the island.  Bernatas took three surveys of the entire island using both the FLIR and traditional digital video equipment mounted on a Cessna 206. She observes the video feeds as the plane flies, picking out deer by their heat signatures. Later Bernatas will go back and review all three flyovers to fine-tune her count.  “You can tell what type of animal it is by the morphology and the signature. For example, with white tail deer the head looks detached from their bodies,” Bernatas said. “It’s like playing a video game all night long.”  Bernatas has been all over the country counting many different types of animals over a total of two million acres. She began by studying Big Horn Sheep, but has counted everything from elephants to elk with her FLIR method. She says that the process is extremely accurate but also takes practice to use properly.  “I have been doing this for 10 years and it’s very easy for me to look at the monitor and determine what is a deer,” Bernatas said. “If you aren’t used to it you would have a hard time picking the deer out.”  Bernatas praised the detail with which the camera can render images of the animals. It can detect as little as a one-degree Celsius temperature change and can show details like the ears on individual deer.   Last winter the state Department of Environmental Management performed a visual count of the island’s deer by helicopter after a snowstorm, which showed a deer density of 85 animals per square mile. According to Bernatas, FLIR has several advantages over this method.  First, the scope of the count is much more comprehensive. The DEM count only looked at a small section of the island and then extrapolated the results. By contrast, the Vision Air count covered the entire island and repeated the count three times, which should produce more accurate results.  Also, infrared makes seeing the deer much easier. According to Bernatas, the FLIR can see through brush and trees without leaves. It also shows the deer as bright white against a cool gray background making them harder to miss.  The results from the count will be ready in April, Bernatas said. She could not estimate the size of the herd based on her initial observations, nor would she say whether it seemed larger or smaller than what might be considered a normal size population.

Georgia 03/11/11 by Laura Ann Sills – Ellerslie – Seeing a fox in Harris County is not rare. But, having that fox come up to you, is.  Dennis Riley and his neighbors on Scott Road called Harris County Sheriff’s deputies Thursday when a fox tried to get into a truck with a man.   “You walk up to it and it would not run like a normal fox. It just sits there,” explained Riley.  Deputies believed the animal to be rabid and killed it. That was the second time they have dealt with a possibly rabid fox in one week.  The first time was near a home on Highway 315. The residents called deputies when they noticed the fox sitting very still at their fence line for several hours.  Foxes are not usually visible during the day and are not social animals.  “They do not hang out with us. So, if you have a fox acting suspicious, please stay away,” urged Sandra Wilson from the Harris County Health Department.  She advises that you teach children that these animals are wild and should be left alone.  “We recommend, particularly living up here in the county where we know we have rabies, people keep animals vaccinated.

South Dakota 03/11/11 SD Department of Health – South Dakota reported 32 rabid animal cases in 2010, down from 53 the year before. Seven cases have been reported to date in 2011  Nine of those cases were domestic animals, prompting state officials to remind South Dakotans of the need to vaccinate their pets for rabies. “It’s important that people keep their pets vaccinated because rabies is always a possibility in South Dakota with the skunk population as the main reservoir of the disease,” said Dr. Lon Kightlinger, State Epidemiologist for the Department of Health.   The risk of rabies is statewide, with 62 counties submitting 671 animals for testing in 2010 and positives coming from 18 counties. The 23 wild animal positives included 20 skunks and three bats; the domestic animals included one dog, three cats, and five cattle. South Dakota’s last human rabies case was reported in 1970. 

Texas 03/13/11 by Jonas Rios – Rabies is on the rise in the Panhandle and experts are advising residents to watch out for themselves and their animals.  We’ve seen one of the largest increases in cases that the area has seen in the past 10 years.  So far nine cases of rabies have been reported for the Panhandle.  An expert says even skunks and bats in our area could be carrying the disease.  “All pets, dogs and cats, should be vaccinated by law, but its common sense to get them vaccinated because it protects the family. Anyone with 4-H and F.F.A. type projects — show lambs and show calves, should be vaccinated because there is so much human contact with them,” said Dr. James Alexander, Regional Zoonosis Control Veterinarian.


Alberta  03/11/11 by Hanneke Brooymans – Edmonton –

Bear Cubs.

The provincial government is forbidding wildlife rehabilitation groups from taking in and treating more than 20 species of animals — including cougars, bears and moose — out of concern for human safety.  Those who rehabilitate animals say this is misguided thinking that forces them to act against their mission and puts the public in more danger.  The new rules are still a work in progress, but Alberta Sustainable Resource Development hopes to have overall standards finalized this year, said spokesman Darcy Whiteside.

Northern Leopard Frog

Last summer, the seven wildlife centres that take in injured wildlife received amended permits that said they would have to euthanize any bat, skunk, deer mouse, raccoon, toad, salamander or frog (other than the threatened leopard frog) they received. Under no circumstances will wolf, coyote, bear, lynx, bobcat or cougar be rehabilitated, the permits said. The same applied to moose, elk, caribou, bighorn sheep, mountain goat and bison.  “We are always looking at improving standards to address the safety of both wildlife and the public,” Whiteside said. “The changes were made to make it safer for the wildlife, the workers at the facility, and the general public.”

Wildlife centre staff handling animals such as bats and skunks face a danger of rabies, Whiteside said, and deer mice could carry hantavirus. For the larger animals, there’s a worry they could lose their fear of humans and pose a safety risk, he added. While they don’t have an example in Alberta of a rehabilitated animal injuring humans, Whiteside said. “I know there are examples in other jurisdictions of human-conditioned animals that have caused injury.”

Injured moose

Kim Blomme, president of the Alberta Wildlife Rehabilitators’ Association, said they don’t agree with the decisions. Wildlife centre staff are vaccinated against rabies, so they’re much better suited to treat the animal than a concerned member of the public might be. If they tell someone they have to euthanize a bat if it’s brought to them, the concerned person might try to treat the bat themselves, creating a greater risk.  Staff are also trained to follow protocols that limit how much an animal sees of people to prevent habituation.

She said they have provided the ministry with information from rehabilitation centres all over the United States and in other parts of Canada where larger animals are allowed to be treated.  “There have never been any recorded incidents of rehabilitated animals like that creating an issue,” she said. Certainly Fish and Wildlife officers “get calls about nuisance bears. But those aren’t animals that have been rehabilitated and acclimatized to people. They’re just habituated. And that can happen anywhere where there are garbage and bears and lots of people.”

Mountain lion

In their meetings with the ministry they’ve gone discussed these issues over and over again, but it’s like hitting a brick wall, she said.  The ministry says the association has been consulted, but Blomme said they didn’t incorporate any of their input. And they’ve been worried about what might happen if they kick up a fuss.

“The problem is we do need to be permitted by SRD. So we’re concerned about (angering) them … because they could very easily just say, ‘Well, we’re not going to renew your permit this year.’ We’ve done a lot of work. We’ve got facilities and we have paid staff. We can’t afford to not have a permit. That’s never been threatened or anything, but they retain that power.”  At the same time, the centres get no funding from the government and rely on donors, Blomme said. “And so if our caller who has the bat hears from us, ‘No, we can’t take it in,’ or ‘If we take it in we have to euthanize it,’ we potentially lose a supporter. And we survive by our supporters. We have no other means of earning money.”

Baby bobcat

Lynne Nittolo, a wildlife supporter, said the public deserves to know about the excluded animals.  “I think what makes me so irate is the public funds these places. They wouldn’t donate to them if they didn’t feel there was a need for them. The government should let the public know that they’ve made a decision like that because that affects the people that donate to them.”

Travel Warnings:

Paraguay 03/13/11  Asuncion – (T) the number of deaths from dengue fever rose to nine and five more were being investigated, after 1,015 cases were confirmed out of a total of 3,549 reported.  However, Minister of Public Health and Social Welfare Esperanza Martinez ruled out declaring a state of emergency.



Forums to Discuss Lyme Disease

Virginia 03/13/11 Cases of Lyme disease are on the rise nationwide, and now the National Capital Lyme Disease Association, based in DC , wants you to know more about the illness.  The organization is hosting a series of listening sessions across the commonwealth including one on Tuesday [March 15] at James Madison University in Harrisonburg. The session will run from 1:30-4 o’clock and is open to the public. Those affected by the disease will speak about their experiences.  Emily Tinsley, a registered nurse explained, “Lyme disease is very much here. Because of that, I think it’s a responsibility for all healthcare professionals to learn about it so that people can be properly diagnosed and treated.”  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Lyme disease cases in Virginia have jumped in the last

Adult deer tick

15 years, from just 55 in 1995 to nearly 1,000 in 2008.

Virginia 03/13/11 Gov. Bob McDonnell’s Lyme Disease Task Force will travel to Roanoke on Tuesday to hold a hearing on the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.  Chairman Michael Farris of Purcellville hopes members of the general public will share their stories about the disease. Treatment of chronic Lyme in particular is a contentious topic, as a majority of physicians don’t believe it exists and disagree with patient advocates about the best way to treat symptoms.  Previous meetings across the state have brought together experts from both sides of the issue, and some have featured heated debate.  Newly endemic in Western Virginia, Lyme cases numbered a record 65 in the Roanoke region last year.  Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled from 7 to 10 p.m. at Roanoke’s Stonewall Jackson Middle School. Virginia residents are invited to speak for up to five minutes.