BRUNSWICK, Maine — According to the Sagadahoc County Sheriff's Office, the fox in the two bite cases from Tuesday in Bowdoinham was confirmed to be rabid by the lab.
The Maine CDC reports at least 26 positive rabies test results in 2019. 17 of those 26 are raccoons.
On Saturday, a family was attacked by what Lisbon Police called either a coyote or dog. It is unclear if that animal was rabid.
Carole Levesque normally takes her dog, Milo, for walks on that trail, but has not been back since the attack, and was walking at the Merrymeeting Dog Park with her dog on Thursday.
”I certainly don’t want to be attacked by something or my dog to be attacked by something, so I haven’t gone back since then," said Levesque. "I hope they find it, whatever it is, and get rid of it if they can."
Last Thursday, police in Enfield responded to a report of a rabid raccoon.
Brunswick Animal Control officer Heather Brown said this recent spike in animal attacks is likely due to animals becoming more active in the warm weather.
She encourages people to make sure their pets’ rabies vaccinations are up-to-date.
”That’s the biggest step you can take to be proactive," said Brown.
She said people walking in wooded or rural areas should consider bringing a walking stick, just in case they have to defend themselves.
”If it’s charging you, you can run or fight, and definitely having something bulky like a walking stick is a good option," said Brown.
Levesque has her concealed carry permit, and said she considered bringing her gun. Police do not recommend that.
”I wouldn’t want to hurt anything, any animal. But if it was protecting myself and my dog, I would certainly, if not shoot the animal, at least fire in the air so it would run away," said Levesque.
The Maine CDC offers tips on how to prevent getting bitten by a rabid animal, and what to do in case it happens.
Generally, the tips tell people who have come in contact with a rabid animal to wash all wounds for 10-15 minutes with soap and water, and to contact the local Game Warden and a doctor. The tips encourage people to keep their pets' rabies vaccinations up-to-date.