July 25, 2017

Don’t touch wild animals

July 11, 2013

Eleven people and several pets in Barre were recently exposed to the saliva of a baby skunk that appeared abandoned, and was rescued from the side of a road. The animal later tested positive for rabies.

So far this year, 31 animals have tested positive for rabies in Vermont.

“Wild animals are not kittens or puppies, and we want to remind Vermonters not to feed or touch wild animals,” said Robert Johnson, the Health Department’s public health veterinarian, in a press release.

The only way to rescue a wild animal is to make sure it is handled properly (with gloves and placed into a box) and brought to a state wildlife rehabilitator. Once the animals are improperly handled and people are either bitten or exposed to saliva, the potential for rabies requires that the animal is tested, which involves killing the animal and testing a sample of its brain tissue.

Without treatment, rabies is a fatal disease for humans and animals.

For guidance on what to do if you find a wild animal, contact the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department at 241-3700. Visit http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/wildlife_rehabilitation.cfm for a wildlife rehabilitator in your area.

Avoid any wild animal that is acting strangely and contact the Vermont Rabies Hotline at


  1. tcoletta says:

    almost 3 decades ago when williston started it’s development review process the public works section was pushing for a wider roadway typical for residential streets. The town adopted 30 ft widths vs 24ft. That’s 6/24 (30%) additional impervious area and runoff that needs to treated before flowing into ALLEN BROOK. The town and selectboard have indicated a lack of interest to reach out and help communties like mine that have had expired stormwater permits for more then a decade. Its always been a wait and see, well I see where this headed now.

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