Animal Care and Control, Health Department warns against rescuing wild animals

With warmer weather, many people rescue baby raccoons, birds, and even bats, and try to nurse them back to health. However, there's a risk many people don't consider-- rabies.

Posted: Jun 10, 2018 8:08 PM
Updated: Jun 10, 2018 10:17 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- They might be cute and seem harmless, but Animal Care and Control and the Allen County Department of Health are warning against picking up wild animals.

With warmer weather, many people rescue baby raccoons, birds, and even bats, and try to nurse them back to health. However, there's a risk many people don't consider-- rabies.

"You should never ever touch a wild animal, especially if you think it's sick or injured, even if it is a baby animal, and sometimes, we know that they are really really cute, you don't want to touch them because there is a risk of contracting rabies," said Holly Pasquinelli, community relations and education specialist at Animal Care and Control.

While it's not as common, rabies can also affect domesticated animals. That's why you should also call Animal Care and Control if you find a stray cat or dog.

"If you aren't familiar with a dog or cat, it's always a good idea to not interact with that animal, because there is a chance that its owners never had it vaccinated for rabies and it came across it, or it never had owners," Pasquinelli said.

Erika Pitcher, with the Allen County Department of Health, said Indiana hasn't seen a case of rabies in a human in about 10 years, but an animal doesn't have to bite you to become infected.

"Rabies is transmitted through saliva and contact with brain tissue... We always ask if you have any wounds of unknown origin on your body after you've been around an animal," Pitcher said.

There is a line of shots you can get if there's a chance you were infected, but they don't come cheap.

"The whole series could be close to $30,000 without insurance," Pitcher said.

You're urged to get the shots if there's any chance you came into contact with an infected animal, even if it's a bat that came into your home while you were sleeping, but the best way to avoid the cost and the risk is to leave those wild animals alone.

"I know you think you're doing a good job by harboring them, but call the professionals to come in and save those animals so you don't put yourself at unnecessary risk," Pitcher said.

If you need to report a wild animal finding, you can contact Animal Care and Control at 260-427-1244.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 750432

Reported Deaths: 13764
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1031991782
Lake556411007
Allen41662691
St. Joseph36974564
Hamilton36561417
Elkhart29390459
Tippecanoe22886225
Vanderburgh22549400
Porter19348325
Johnson18432388
Hendricks17608317
Clark13206193
Madison13139344
Vigo12608253
LaPorte12415221
Monroe12188175
Delaware10954198
Howard10285225
Kosciusko9619119
Hancock8562145
Bartholomew8164157
Warrick7856156
Floyd7781180
Grant7232179
Wayne7160201
Boone6939103
Morgan6746141
Dubois6214118
Marshall6208116
Cass6000109
Dearborn589578
Henry5895109
Noble580787
Jackson508975
Shelby500896
Lawrence4738122
Gibson444593
Clinton441455
Harrison441073
DeKalb439485
Montgomery436390
Whitley406343
Huntington402481
Steuben399759
Miami393169
Jasper387454
Knox375890
Putnam372160
Wabash360683
Ripley346970
Adams345355
Jefferson335785
White331553
Daviess3033100
Wells295181
Decatur289992
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273072
Scott270156
Clay266448
Washington245234
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234431
Starke227958
Fountain220348
Sullivan214343
Owen211658
Fulton202142
Jay200932
Carroll193420
Orange188155
Perry187137
Rush175826
Vermillion174644
Franklin170335
Tipton166146
Parke149316
Pike138234
Blackford136232
Pulaski120547
Newton113736
Brown104043
Crawford102316
Benton101414
Martin91615
Warren83815
Switzerland8118
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1108146

Reported Deaths: 20122
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1286421460
Cuyahoga1157382208
Hamilton813551248
Montgomery525311041
Summit48395999
Lucas43343818
Butler38951604
Stark33318929
Lorain25658504
Warren24580303
Mahoning22355603
Lake21166387
Clermont20111253
Delaware18841135
Licking16660222
Fairfield16570204
Trumbull16537482
Medina15603271
Greene15272247
Clark14233306
Wood13287198
Portage13242214
Allen11910239
Richland11601211
Miami10843224
Wayne9130222
Columbiana9029230
Muskingum8906135
Pickaway8658122
Tuscarawas8643248
Marion8641138
Erie8056164
Ashtabula7147179
Hancock6996132
Ross6943161
Geauga6834150
Scioto6534105
Belmont6155174
Union584549
Lawrence5726102
Jefferson5675158
Huron5544122
Sandusky5439125
Darke5415129
Seneca5347126
Washington5318109
Athens523660
Auglaize501887
Mercer487385
Shelby476595
Knox4570112
Madison444065
Ashland435597
Putnam4336103
Defiance432298
Fulton432072
Crawford4036110
Brown402461
Logan387577
Preble3848104
Clinton379166
Ottawa373581
Highland359665
Williams348078
Champaign344258
Guernsey324853
Jackson318154
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285450
Hardin274965
Henry273367
Holmes2699101
Coshocton268960
Van Wert247264
Adams243156
Pike242835
Gallia240750
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll197148
Paulding176542
Meigs148240
Monroe136344
Noble136039
Harrison114138
Morgan109624
Vinton85517
Unassigned03
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