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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.

Confirmed Cases: 67857

Reported Deaths: 2975
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion14710719
Lake7037269
Elkhart458276
Allen3611157
St. Joseph311479
Hamilton2489104
Cass17509
Hendricks1742105
Vanderburgh170012
Johnson1648118
Porter117439
Tippecanoe109411
Clark107545
Madison84265
LaPorte82929
Kosciusko81612
Howard80464
Marshall74222
Bartholomew73847
Floyd68444
Monroe68430
Noble63528
Delaware63352
Boone63246
Dubois62412
Hancock61637
Jackson5514
LaGrange54210
Shelby50926
Warrick50230
Grant49629
Vigo46810
Dearborn46128
Morgan41832
Henry36118
Clinton3523
White34510
Montgomery33821
Lawrence32627
Wayne3159
Decatur31332
Harrison28922
Miami2582
Scott24710
Daviess24319
Greene23834
DeKalb2214
Putnam2218
Jennings20712
Franklin20510
Jasper2032
Steuben1993
Gibson1984
Ripley1887
Perry17112
Starke1647
Orange16324
Wabash1583
Posey1570
Fayette1547
Jefferson1492
Whitley1486
Fulton1442
Carroll1422
Wells1312
Knox1290
Huntington1183
Washington1151
Spencer1133
Newton10910
Tipton1065
Randolph1024
Clay975
Jay820
Adams812
Rush794
Owen781
Sullivan751
Pulaski711
Brown701
Fountain632
Benton600
Blackford532
Ohio504
Parke451
Pike450
Switzerland430
Crawford420
Martin420
Vermillion380
Union320
Warren191
Unassigned0200

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93031

Reported Deaths: 3529
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17107514
Cuyahoga12646477
Hamilton9110247
Lucas4852318
Montgomery402477
Summit3248217
Marion287544
Butler268359
Mahoning2393253
Pickaway235242
Stark1679132
Lorain162076
Warren160035
Columbiana157060
Trumbull1421103
Fairfield123825
Delaware119418
Licking111642
Clark107613
Lake103435
Wood91058
Clermont83510
Medina83133
Miami76837
Tuscarawas74613
Portage71160
Allen64642
Greene61911
Belmont58926
Ashtabula53845
Richland53610
Geauga52843
Mercer52213
Erie51627
Wayne49258
Ross3874
Huron3714
Ottawa35225
Athens3441
Madison32910
Sandusky32917
Holmes3206
Darke31627
Hancock3152
Lawrence2160
Union2141
Auglaize2135
Jefferson2043
Washington19722
Putnam19317
Coshocton1856
Scioto1851
Muskingum1781
Knox1652
Crawford1645
Preble1642
Morrow1582
Shelby1574
Seneca1533
Hardin15012
Clinton1466
Fulton1391
Ashland1303
Defiance1294
Highland1271
Williams1233
Logan1201
Wyandot1195
Brown1121
Guernsey1106
Hocking1089
Carroll1075
Henry1061
Champaign1051
Perry1052
Fayette940
Monroe9018
Van Wert681
Pike660
Jackson650
Paulding590
Gallia571
Adams532
Vinton302
Meigs240
Morgan200
Harrison191
Noble160
Unassigned00
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