Edmond Animal Welfare Finds Skunk With Rabies Within City Limits

Friday, April 1st 2016, 9:58 pm
By: News 9

Edmond Animal Welfare reported its first confirmed rabies positive case in the city for 2016.

It was a skunk found dead in a neighborhood near 22nd and Broadway.

David and Linda Olson take pride in the place they've called home for more than 50 years.

They groom a backyard oasis with a small garden and flowers. But every spring and summer, raccoons, opossums and skunks show up.

“They tunnel under the fence to get in the backyard and they make them a passageway, and they come and go and when I find it, well that’s when I set my traps out,” David Olson said.

He has caught two skunks already this year and took the animals out to the country to turn them loose.

He has never been sprayed and fallen victim to the fumes of a skunk before.

“But I’ve had a dog that got sprayed by one real good [sic]. They go crazy,” David Olson said. “It’ll make you sick!”

The rabies positive skunk was found dead across the street from his home. The juvenile skunk was tested by the health department and the results were positive for rabies.

The skunk was in a resident’s backyard surrounded by a fence. Edmond Animal Services Officer Cara Drake said there could be more.

“Because it was a baby skunk we have to make sure there are no more baby skunks living in that yard,” Drake explained.

Animal control officers set traps at the house, but in the meantime they want residents to be on alert.

“Rabies is spread through saliva, brain tissue and spinal fluid so as long as you avoid those areas you should be OK. Don’t get bitten. If there’s a dead animal, leave it alone or if you do have to pick it up, definitely use gloves and maybe a shovel. Try not to touch anything with your bare hands,” Drake said.

And if it's acting erratically or chases you or your pet, stay away and call a professional.

Keep food of any kind inside, and make sure your pet is up on their shots.

Oklahoma City is holding a low-cost vaccination event on April 30.