A potentially stinky situation became very scary this past week, as a Washington Township resident learned the hard way a rabid animal was going after the family's pet.
According to Washington Township Department of Health supervisor Chris Gibbs, a resident on Spring Lane near the intersection of Naughright called to report a skunk was near the family’s home and “acting very unusual,” Gibbs said.
“The resident said the skunk was not afraid of the family dog and began fighting with it,” Gibbs said. The skunk then bit the dog and the township was alerted.
Tests were sent out on Monday to see if the dog had been infected by the skunk. On Tuesday, positive rabies results were returned to the township, and the dog was quarantined per protocol, Gibbs said.
“We strongly urge residents to make sure their dogs and cats are vaccinated each year,” Gibbs said. “Residents also need to be alert and take precaution when approaching or are near wild animals.”
Gibbs also said if a family pet is contacted by a wild animal that may have rabies to not handle the dog or cat right away, so as to not come in contact with the saliva left by the aggressor. If the pet is injured badly and needs immediate attention, the owner should use gloves when handling the animal, Gibbs said.