BATH, Maine — Bath police are asking pet owners to beware. Since February there have been four confirmed cases of rabid animals. They also suspect two dead foxes found in March were rabid, but the animals were not tested.
Ann Harford, the city's animal control officer, says this is the most rabies reports she's seen in a quite some time. She's had this job for 28 years now.
"We probably haven't had any rabies cases for about ten years," said Harford. "Keep your animals up to date on rabies vaccinations. That is the key."
"It's certainly a cause for concern," said Sue Redwine, a Bath resident, and dog owner.
Redwine and her pup Barry were at the South End Dog Park Friday morning. Not far from there is the 600 block of Middle Street where the latest rabid animal was reported.
In that case, on April 3rd, a dead raccoon was found in someone's yard and later tested positive for rabies. Police said a pet was possibly exposed.
"We have [rabies cases] spread out all through the city, there really hasn't been a concentrated area," said Bath Deputy Police Chief, Robert Savary.
Two cases of rabies were confirmed in North Bath, including one incident on Bayshore Road on February 1. That's where police say two dogs encountered a fox. The dogs killed the fox and will be revaccinated and confined or quarantined as necessary.
Near another North Bath home, pet owners told police their dogs killed a skunk in their yard on March 25th. Police say the skunk tested positive for rabies and the dogs were up to date on their vaccinations.
Last summer there were nine confirmed cases of rabid animals in Brunswick, according to the Maine Centers for Disease Control. The rash of rabies cases prompted town leaders to hold a public information session.
There were some incidents in which police say people were attacked.
One 95-year-old man said he had to defend himself against a rabid fox with a wooden plank.
In Bath, police say if you suspect your pet has encountered a rabid animal you should call the city's animal control officer and your veterinarian.