Police kill raccoons
City law enforcement removes pair of sick raccoons less than week apart
Hillsboro police in the last week shot two raccoons, five days apart, which were obviously not acting normal.
Assistant police chief Jessey Hiebert said the police department does not go to the expense of having wildlife tested for rabies, but the raccoons were clearly sick.
Veterinarian Jessica Winter, of Hillsboro Animal Clinic, said this year’s drought conditions have led to increased commingling of animals because they are seeking water.
“It would not surprise me if the critters are coming to town for water,” Winter said.
She has noticed an uptick in rabies among cattle she treats.
“We have diagnosed more cattle with rabies in the past six months or so than we ever had before,” Winters said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, and bats each carry distinct strains of rabies. Transmission of rabies is usually from a bite or saliva of an infected animal.
Winters said she has spoken with city authorities about rabies this year.
“I think what people need to know is, don’t handle these animals,” Winter said. “The big thing is to have their animals vaccinated to reduce the chance of exposure to rabies.”
Animal owners can usually get animals vaccinated quickly at her clinic, she added.
Winters said she encourages people to notify police if they see a strange or wild animal.