The Stinky Ketchup Packet That Could

You might find something like this on your property or along public forest trails. It’s about the same size and shape as a ketchup packet and smells like rotten fish. Believe it or not, this little packet protects you, your pets, and your family. The USDA drops these in areas (including Hamilton County) where raccoon-variantContinue reading “The Stinky Ketchup Packet That Could”

I Found a Rabid Raccoon! Help!

“Help! I found a rabid raccoon!” This is one of the most frequent— and panicked— calls we receive in wildlife rehabilitation. If it happens to you, here’s what to do: -First, stay calm. The animal probably isn’t actually rabid. Raccoons can be awake in the daytime for any number of reasons. If it looks healthy,Continue reading “I Found a Rabid Raccoon! Help!”

Can Raccoons Eat With Cats?

You may think it’s charming or cute if a raccoon starts frequenting your pet’s dish, but images like this are terrifying. Outdoor-roaming cats typically live short and often brutal lives, partially because they will often have encounters like these. In general, a wild raccoon poses little threat to a cat or dog, but— like anyContinue reading “Can Raccoons Eat With Cats?”

Canine Distemper Decimates Wildlife

Canine distemper originated in North American domestic dogs in the late 1800s. Ever since, this deadly family of viruses has spread like wildfire through wild foxes, wolves, coyotes— and even unrelated animals like lions, bears, skunks, and raccoons. Many animals, like the Ethiopian wolf and Amur leopard, are now facing imminent extinction due to distemperContinue reading “Canine Distemper Decimates Wildlife”

Handling a Raccoon: a Deadly Mistake

We often hear from finders who have handled wild raccoons without gloves— a mistake that’s very easy to make when it’s just a little baby. Some people will also hand-feed adults or attempt, illegally, to raise orphans as pets. Please be careful: this is very dangerous! When raccoon roundworm enters the human body, the wormContinue reading “Handling a Raccoon: a Deadly Mistake”

Any Mammal Can Get Rabies

For Fox Sake’s focus is on our local rabies vector species: skunks, foxes, and raccoons. But these animals aren’t “rabies vectors” simply because they can catch rabies, but rather, because they can live with it for several days or weeks and transmit it to other animals, including humans, during that time. It’s possible for absolutelyContinue reading “Any Mammal Can Get Rabies”

Should I Kill A Fox? It Might Have Rabies!

“It might have rabies,” is one of the leading reasons people give for killing wild foxes. Foxes and cats each account for about 6% of rabies cases per year, but, fortunately, no one suggests that we mass-murder stray kittens. Let’s have the same respect for wild animals, instead of slaughtering them because of the smallContinue reading “Should I Kill A Fox? It Might Have Rabies!”

Hunting Coyotes? Prepare for Dangerous Dogs!

Ecosystems will always have predators. That’s why feral dogs are so successful in places where native predators have been eliminated. Nature always fills the gaps. When we killed the wolves in the eastern U.S., coyotes moved into the wolf’s former range. If we killed all the coyotes, the hole in the ecosystem would be filledContinue reading “Hunting Coyotes? Prepare for Dangerous Dogs!”

Rabid Animal? Don’t Shoot!

I specialize in rescuing rabies vector species. Among the most frustrating calls, messages, and comments I receive are from people bragging about how they saw a “rabid” animal, and reacted by shooting it in the head. When an animal does have genuinely rabies-like symptoms, it must be euthanized, not just for human safety, but forContinue reading “Rabid Animal? Don’t Shoot!”

How Dangerous are Wolves and Coyotes?

People live in fear of the Big Bad Wolf, and his smaller cousin the coyote, even though attacks on humans are rare and deaths are nearly unheard of. Most of the ten annual deaths from wolves are due to pet wolves turning on their owners, not wild wolves seeking prey. And, in all of U.S.Continue reading “How Dangerous are Wolves and Coyotes?”