I was reading The Wayne Independent, one of Wayne County’s local newspapers, and read this article about some cases of rabies being found in Lake Ariel PA.
How sad for the owners of the miniature horse and the collie dog. I think a lot of people dismiss the reality of rabies and limit it in their minds to scary movies like Cujo or heartbreakers like Old Yeller.
From The Wayne Independent:
312 – Statewide rabies cases reported so far this year from Jan. 1 through Sept. 30.
3 – The number of rabies cases reported in Wayne County between Jan. 1 through Sept. 30: 2 raccoons and 1 horse.
5 – Number of rabies cases in Wayne County in 2009: 2 raccoons and 3 skunks.
Rabies can be avoided, easily and without too much expense. A rabies vaccine is very inexpensive for your pets (including your larger animals like horses!) and can save you more money down the road (vaccines given after the fact can cost hundreds), not to mention the heartbreak that goes with putting a beloved pet down due to something that is mostly avoidable.
Do not forget, people can get rabies as well. If you are bitten by an animal that could have rabies, including a stray cat, dog, or someone’s pet that has not been vaccinated, seek medical attention immediately. Remember this story? (Link to a rather dry clinical article about it.)
A 15 year old girl in Wisconsin had picked up a bat that had gotten into the church they were attending. She was bitten but did not seek medical attention. Her survival story is an amazing testament to modern medicine but a word of caution to us all: be wary of handling wild animals no matter how cute they are or if they seem to need help. Seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY if you are bitten or scratched by a wild animal or an animal you do not know.
Many people thinking about moving to Pike or Wayne County ask about bears and bobcats while in the process of looking for a new home. I have lived here all my life and never had a negative encounter with either. I don’t feed the bears and they just go their merry way – they don’t stop and try to get aquainted! 🙂
A more real threat to me would be your beloved pet coming across a raccoon, skunk, squirrel, or other critter that has rabies. This can happen ANYWHERE.
Please have your pets vaccinated and be wary of wild animals or domestic animals you do not know. If you have livestock or other large animals, talk to your vet about vaccinating them as well. It truly is life and death.
In Pike County, the Pike County Humane Society handles all cases of suspected rabies. 570-296-7654.