Mass. wildlife rescue center warns of increase in rabid and otherwise sick animals

Timothy Hill


In the latest months, a Chelmsford-primarily based animal rehab has observed extra calls than ever of suspected rabies and distemper cases.

The owner of a Chelmsford-based animal rehabilitation center is warning of an obvious uptick in scenarios of rabies and distemper in wild animals.

Newhouse Wildlife Rescue’s owner, Jane Newhouse, wishes to unfold awareness just after acquiring a spike in phone calls about sick raccoons and skunks, in accordance to a WBZ report.

Newhouse informed the information outlet that in new months, she’s gotten a lot more calls than ever right before about the unwell animals, which are now in their mating season.

“Right now, with them all breeding, they are all interacting,” she explained to WBZ, adding that she’s experienced to set down various unwell wild animals thanks to rabies and distemper. 

Rabies and distemper are hugely contagious, deadly viral disorders that have an impact on tiny animals but can also infect domestic dogs and cats. Humans can deal rabies from an infected wild animal’s bite if left untreated, the virus could be lethal.

Newhouse said people should really check out for indications of rabies, which consist of an animal getting unawareness of their surroundings, issues strolling, being unphased by human beings, or an extremely friendly or aggressive demeanor. 

It’s a frequent misunderstanding that all rabid animals foam at the mouth. “Most of the time they just act drunk,” she informed the outlet.

Newhouse reported in a Facebook publish earlier this thirty day period that she raises about 50 raccoons each calendar year, and most of them are “perfectly high-quality and wonderful animals.”

In the put up, she recounted a modern incident in which an unnamed Massachusetts city declined to handle a report of a seemingly sick raccoon. Newhouse mentioned she intervened and a test exposed that the animal was certainly rabid. 

“Most wild animals do not have rabies, but there are specified symptoms that we should be extremely cautious of,” she wrote. “When an animal is exhibiting these symptoms, we need to take action. Not only to guard the people and animals close to us — but the other wild animals all over us as very well.”

Anybody who notices strange wildlife behavior must phone their regional animal control division or a wildlife rehabilitator.

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