Second raccoon tests positive for rabies in Colrain

Staff Writer
Published: 1/13/2020 5:50:26 PM
Modified: 1/13/2020 5:49:40 PM

COLRAIN — A second raccoon has tested positive for rabies in less than a month at a state laboratory.

Both raccoons were encountered on Wilson Hill Road — one in the 100 block and one in the 300 block. The first was reported in late December, just before the holidays.

Kyle P. Dragon, animal control officer with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, said the second case was confirmed at the end of last week, after another resident, Curtis Neill, reported seeing a sick-acting animal.

Dragon said because two have been confirmed within a short period of time, he is more concerned than if it were just one, but at this time there’s nothing to worry about. He said it appears rabies in raccoons in that area, at least, is a little more widespread, because one was found in the 100 block and one in the 300 block.

“The thing is, rabies is probably a little more widespread in this area than we think, because only the sick animals encountered by humans are reported,” he noted. “There may be others that die and are never reported, never seen.”

As with the first raccoon, there are no known exposures to people or animals, but Dragon said residents should make sure their animals are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations.

People should not panic, but should be aware, Dragon said. He said he will be working with town administrators to set up rabies clinics so that people can vaccinate their animals. He will also work with them to provide educational information to residents.

Dragon advises people to report any wild animals that act in a sickly or aggressive fashion, but cautions residents to never approach wildlife.

If you encounter an animal acting out of the ordinary, contact Shelburne Control Dispatch Center at 413-625-8200. If you have questions, contact Franklin County Regional Animal Control at 413-768-0983 or email Dragon at: kdragon@fcso-ma.us.

Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-0261, ext. 269 or afritz@recorder.com.


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