Rabid skunk bite worries dog owner at lake
When a rabid skunk bit Nancy Fee’s dog last week, her protective instincts kicked in.
“This thing came through a chain-link fence and just zeroed in,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything like it, and it grabbed my little dog by her butt. I beat the thing with a garden tool to make it turn loose.”
The skunk tested positive for rabies, which led to a series of booster shots for Fee’s dog, the Marion County Lake resident said.
A second rabid skunk was reported by law enforcement later that week.
A general increase in the skunk population isn’t as worrisome as having a rabid skunk, lake supervisor Isaac Hett said.
“It’s not a great big concern to me yet,” he said. “The fact that one bit a dog and had rabies, that was a big deal. I’m not trying to downplay it. As far as the skunk population in general, we are watching them.”
However, a larger skunk population increases the chances that more will be rabid.
It’s important to keep property free of brush piles, and not allow access to sheds or under decks, Hett said.
“If you minimize that, chances are you’ll minimize chances for skunks to hang around your property,” he said.
According to Hett, seven to 10 skunks have been captured so far in 2019. He was unsure how many are captured on average each year, but has seen an increase in frequency in the past few months.
Last modified June 12, 2019