Rabid skunk raises questions

A rabid animal of any kind is enough to scare anyone. One homeowner on North Way in Camillus was recently faced with such a dilemma.

So what should people do if they see an animal that they think is rabid in their neighborhood?

According to Camillus Police Chief Thomas Winn homeowners should be sure that the animal is rabid and a threat to human beings or other animals before calling the police.

"We get a lot of calls from people who have a skunk trapped under their porch that they want removed," Winn said. "If the skunk isn't a threat of any kind the property owner has to call a private animal control company. However, a police officer will come out to determine if the animal is rabid or not."

There are a number of private animal control companies listed in the Yellow Pages.

All animals that are captured and thought to be rabid are submitted for rabies testing.

According to the Onondaga County Health Department Bureau of Animal Disease Prevention, an animal that has had known contact with a human or domestic pet should be submitted for testing. Contact would be defined as a bite or scratch or any contact with saliva or blood from the animal.

There is no need to test any animal that had not come into contact with a human or domestic pet.

If the animal has had no known contact, then there is no need to test it, and it can be double bagged and disposed of in the trash.

The skunk on North Way did not have contact with any human or domestic pet.

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