Skunks and raccoons love the city but many are infected with the deadly disease...
Since December 4th of 2015 eleven critters (skunks and
raccoons) in Jefferson
have tested positive for rabies. Most of the cases were inside the Watertown city limits.
This is scary. If you catch rabies you die.
Isn’t it time to mount a serious attack on this dangerous situation?
In recent years students in the wildlife studies program at Jefferson Community College have distributed rabies vaccines hidden in animal treats at Thompson Park in an effort to control the disease among the raccoon population. We need to make a similar effort to control the disease in the skunk population, especially in the city neighborhoods where skunks are known to dwell.
I know skunks live in my neighborhood in the southeast quadrant of town. Many's the morning, back during the days when I would walk to work, when I would open my door during the wee hours to be struck in the olfactory nerves by the aroma of a nearby skunk. One morning I opened my door to find one of the critters standing in the middle of the street. Another time, as I turned the corner on to Academy Street, there was a skunk crossing my path. On both occasions I gave the rodents a wide berth and all was well as we went about our business.
Such skunk encounters are all too common and of course raccoons are always on the lookout for convenient garbage cans and bags to raid. They love the city life. So let’s step up the effort to control rabies.
Of course the first line of defense is keeping pets up to date on rabies vaccinations. In Jefferson County free shots will be available on June 16th from 6pm to 8pm at Jefferson County Dog Control. Though the shots are provided without charge the sponsor, Jefferson County Public Health Service, asks, if possible, for a $10 donation per animal. A very small price to pay for peace of mind.
"Ya gotch yer dead skunk in the middle of the road, stinkin' to high Heaven"...Loudon Wainwright III from his song "Dead Skunk",