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OK gang - I need some help here. I just got a
phone call from my sister who lives in a more or less rural area of New
York State. A few hours ago a skunk wandered through her yard - it
was walking erratically, spraying at nothing, and drooling. What
does this sound like to you?
She called her veterinarian, who said call the health dept.
Didn't even provide a phone number. It's Saturday (don't all these
things happen on days when offices are closed?) and no one was there to
help her. She called the police, and they took an hour to show
up. By that time the skunk had wandered under a shed attached to my
sister's house, and the policeman said he could/would not deal with it
unless it was out in the open. He also said that there were strict
laws about disposal of a rabid animal and she would be the one
responsible for dealing with the carcass. But he didn't provide any
Dede doesn't have a gun, doesn't know anyone with one.
Obviously she can't wait around for the police to show up if/when the
skunk reappears. She hopes it will die under there, but then that
may cause more problems. Meanwhile, she's got her dog & cat
locked in the house, and her kids too. She's afraid to let them
out, but can't keep everyone locked up forever.
1) What should she do?
2) If the skunk dies under the shed, and if it has rabies, is
the carcass still dangerous?
3) Should she notify the neighbors that there may be a problem
with rabies, or will that just cause more problems for her. On the
other hand, if she doesn't notify them and the skunk has rabies and it
wanders off her property (it's just a large lot, maybe half an acre) and
bites someone, is Dede liable? It's not her skunk, but she does
know about this potential rabies problem.
Thank you so much! Lif
Lif & Paul Strand STRAND
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