Kennebunk police confirm case of rabies

Posted March 29, 2013, at 5:45 p.m.

KENNEBUNK, Maine — Police in Kennebunk confirmed on Friday a case of rabies in the town.

According to a Friday afternoon announcement by Kennebunk Animal Control Officer Rebecca Parker, a deceased raccoon was transported to the Maine Center for Disease Control for testing Tuesday. The center subsequently confirmed a positive test for rabies.

In her announcement, Parker reminded pet owners about the importance of staying current with rabies vaccinations.

“The town of Kennebunk would like to remind residents that rabies can be found in humans — though this is very rare — unvaccinated pets and farm animals, as well as wildlife; in particular raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats,” the announcement read, in part. “Not all animals afflicted with rabies will act the same once the virus reaches their brain. Some may appear friendly, fearful or shy while others can become mean and appear to either stumble as though drunk or seem lame. Rabid animals have been identified in every Maine county.”

On March 18, a white dog-like animal was seen wandering toward a Balsam Lane home and died underneath the porch there, igniting widespread speculation over what the animal was.

One of the residents of the home first called the beast a wolf, while police initially identified it as a coyote and wildlife biologists hypothesized at first it was a domestic dog.

However, the York County Coast Star reported that a state scientist was able to ultimately determine the creature was a rare white coyote.

A necropsy to determine why the animal died, however, has yet to be done.

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