The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 9, 2001


Animal beat Rabies in Carlisle

I talked to the state rabies experts last week. There have been confirmed rabies cases in all of the towns in Massachusetts except those on the Cape and Islands. In Carlisle, they stopped checking all animals that had not had risky exposure with humans or domestic animals, after the first two confirmed cases. Two raccoons and a fox were confirmed rabid in Carlisle. It's here.

Statewide, over 2,000 raccoons, 62 woodchucks, 58 foxes, nearly 1,000 skunks, 86 cats and three dogs were among the mammals who tested positive for rabies. A deer in Concord and a dog in Lexington were rabid.

Get your pets vaccinated if they are at risk. Risks include being a mammal and being alive. For most of you, that means cats and dogs. Fish, reptiles, birds, and stuffed animals are safe.

If your pet is not vaccinated, it runs the risk of being put on a six-month quarantine, or being put to sleep for rabies testing should it get itself into a high exposure-risk situationfor example, if it is "almost" caught by a fox in your backyard, but is "lucky" enough to escape.

Your pet should have a rabies shot two times in the first year, and then every three years thereafter. For animals these shots are inexpensive; for humans, they are costly, hundreds of dollars each and there are several in the series. It's the wise and responsible thing to do for "Fluffy."

Sally Lakness is the Carlisle Animal Inspector.

2001 The Carlisle Mosquito