Familiar Fall Rabies Warning For SouthCoast Pet Owners
Once again the Cape Cod & Southeast Massachusetts Rabies Task Force are gearing up for their fall vaccine drop and are trying to make pet owners aware of familiar baits they may find in their yards.
From Monday, Sept. 11, through Friday, Sept. 15, nearly 80,000 oral rabies vaccine baits will be distributed throughout Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth, Barnstable, Plymouth, Wareham, Carver, Kingston, Middleboro, Rochester, Marion, and Lakeville.
Ground operations will be underway starting Monday and on Tuesday September 12 the low-flying helicopter drops will begin across the area when weather permits. These helicopters will be either red and black or white and orange and may fly directly over residential neighborhoods, getting baits just where residents may not want them: their very own yards.
Though the goal for these bait releases in neighborhoods and wooded areas is for wildlife to hopefully find and eat this vaccine, you and your pets may come across them, too.
The Cape Cod & Southeast Massachusetts Rabies Task Force wants to remind residents that they cannot get rabies from the vaccines and that any bait they come across should be left undisturbed if possible.
Homeowners who prefer to remove them from their yards are urged not to pick them up with their bare hands, but instead to use gloves or a towel to touch them. However if an oral rabies vaccine should happen to contact your skin, immediately rinse the area with warm water and soap and call (877) 722-6725.
The vaccine baits are coated sachets and fishmeal polymer blocks as seen in the photo above and may be tempting to your pets' taste buds. The baits are not toxic to animals if eaten, though they are intended for wildlife and could cause an upset stomach to domesticated animals.
The Cape Cod & Southeast Massachusetts Rabies Task Force hopes if you do removed baits from your yard that you redistribute them in a wooded area, so that wildlife still has the potential to find them and they can still serve their intended purpose.