Category: Public Health

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…

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…

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,…

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…

Rabies Doesn’t Look Like Rabies

I specialize in rescuing wild animals that are categorized as “rabies vector species”— foxes, skunks, and raccoons. It’s been my experience that many people will either enormously over-react or under-react to the risk of rabies. For every person I’ve encountered who has shot a…

Why Don’t You Care About People?

“Why do you care about animals when there are so many people in need?” It’s a common, but baffling, criticism that wildlife rehabilitators and other animal rescuers often hear. Most people are capable of caring about more than one thing. Although I’m sure there’s…

Kids and Wildlife Don’t Mix

The most heart-stopping calls I receive start like this: “My kids were playing outside and…” Children are innocent and kind-hearted. When they see an animal that appears to be sick or hurt, their nature guides them to want to help. Unfortunately for both children…

Raccoon Torpor: It’s not rabies!

Healthy raccoons can be active in the daytime during any time of the year. But as night temperatures fall, you’re more likely to see a raccoon coming out during daylight hours. Raccoons enter a hibernation-like state during winter known as torpor. During this time,…

Vaccinate Your Pets to Save Wildlife

I usually share photos of only a fraction of the animals I’m called to assist— the few that actually get brought into rehabilitation. The other animals I help are never “rescued” per se, but instead, mercifully euthanized because it’s the only way to assist…

Killing Opossums to Prevent EPM?

Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, also known as EPM, is a dreaded fear for many horse owners— and understandably so. This condition is very serious and can be difficult and expensive to treat. Opossums are short-term hosts for the parasite that causes EPM, and horses contract…