Update 4:30 p.m. Sept. 17.
Three wild animals have tested positive for rabies in the last three weeks in Cheshire according to Animal Control Officer April Leiler. The latest incident on Thursday resulted in a Oak Avenue resident being bitten on the hand.
"She was moving things around in her garage and felt something pull on the back of her pants," Leiler said. "The went to push away what she thought was her puppy, and it was a skunk."
The skunk had left the garage by the time the responding officers arrived, Leiler said, but a neighbor directed the police to a nearby backyard where the skunk was snared and shot.
Two other rabid animals have been reported in town, Leiler said. Another skunk was killed on Aug. 22 in the backyard on Foxwood Court by two dogs. A raccoon was killed by two dogs inside a home on Aug. 28 on Lancaster Way, Leiler said, after it entered through a pet door. "It's unusual for a raccoon to go through a cat door," Leiler said.
The number of rabid animals reported this summer hasn't necessarily increased over last year, Leiler said, but the number of contacts with dogs or humans has increased, she said.
"If (the wild animal) doesn't come in contact with a dog or cat, we don't have to test for it," Leiler said. "Extra animals met the criteria (for rabies testing)."
The four dogs involved with the rabid animals had been vaccinated, Leiler said. The two that killed the raccoon received a rabies booster shot and are under 45-day home confinement.
If a rabid animal is suspected, "we ask residents to report it, if it happens, so we know it. That way, animals can be safe," Lieler said.
Editor's note: Original news release from 9 a.m. on Sept. 17 from the Cheshire Police Department:
Cheshire Animal control reports that an Oak Ave. resident was bitten by a skunk inside her garage on Thursday. The skunk was killed by Cheshire police and sent to the Connecticut Virology laboratory where it tested positive for the Rabies Virus.
The resident is receiving post exposure rabies treatments.
In late August, another skunk tested positive for rabies after being killed by two dogs on Lancaster Way. The dogs were current on their Rabies vaccinations.
Cheshire Police and Animal Control remind residents to make sure their pets are vaccinated against the rabies virus.
Residents are requested to contact Animal Control to report sightings of wild animals, such as skunks that are out during the day or appear sick. Here are the phone numbers: Cheshire Animal Control 203-271-5590 or Cheshire Police: 203-271-5500