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Public Post is a community reporting initiative using digital tools to report on cities and towns across Vermont.Public Post is the only resource that lets you browse and search documents across dozens of Vermont municipal websites in one place.Follow reporter Amy Kolb Noyes and #PublicPost on Twitter and read news from the Post below.

Rabies Suspected In Rockingham

Rockingham Health Officer Ellen Howard is asking residents to be sure their pets' rabies vaccines are up-to-date. While there have not been any confirmed cases of rabies in Rockingham so far this year, Howard reported, "the Rockingham Highway Department has recently dealt with four instances of very ill, disoriented animals."

Two incidents involved raccoons on Pleasant Valley Road, one of which was near the Saxtons River Recreation Center. Another ill raccoon was located at the east end of Main Street, Saxtons River. The fourth animal was a fox on Bramley Way in Bellows Falls. No one can tell if an animal has rabies by looking at it. Rabid animals may seem normal or can be lethargic or aggressive. Usually there is a change in normal behavior. People are advised to avoid any animal that exhibits strange behavior.

Howard offered the following advice to Rockingham residents:

  • Use caution in approaching animals, especially unfamiliar domestic animals or wild animals.
  • Pets should be vaccinated against rabies, including cats.
  • Yards should not be made inviting to wild animals and pet food dishes not left outside.
  • Pets should be fed inside and be kept in at night to avoid mixing with possible rabid animals.
  • Trash can lids need to be tightly closed and trash left for curb-side pickup should be in animal proof containers.

Anyone with questions about rabies can call the Vermont Rabies Hotline at 1-800-4-Rabies (1-800-472-2437).

Amy is an award winning journalist who has worked in print and radio in Vermont since 1991. Her first job in professional radio was at WVMX in Stowe, where she worked as News Director and co-host of The Morning Show. She was a VPR contributor from 2006 to 2020.
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