BERLIN – Police killed a rabid fox in the Franklin Knoll neighborhood of Berlin this week.
On Tuesday, the Berlin Police Department dispatched a fox that was suspected of having rabies. The Worcester County Health Department confirmed that the fox had tested positive for the rabies virus.
“On early Tuesday morning, a fox was shot near Powell Circle in Berlin,” said Travis Brown, public information officer for the Worcester County Health Department. “That fox tested laboratory positive for rabies. If any residents in the area believe they or their pets may have had contact with the fox, please contact the Worcester County Health Department immediately at 410-641-9559.”
According to Councilman Thom Gulyas, who lives in the Franklin Knoll community, he was on a morning walk Tuesday when he noticed one of the town’s trash trucks stopped at the corner of Thomas Court and Powell Circle. Gulyas said he approached the driver, thinking something was wrong with the truck. As he got closer, he noticed a fox laying in the nearby ditch, twitching and shaking.
“Since our employee has such an elevated perspective due to the height at which he is driving the trash truck, he was able to spot this animal laying in this ditch and took the right course of action by staying there waiting for the Berlin Police to show up and resolve of the situation,” Gulyas wrote in a letter to Berlin Town Hall, passing along his thanks to the employee.
Gulyas said though he’d walked by the ditch earlier that morning, he’d never even noticed the animal.
“I would like, if at all possible, for this employee to be recognized for spotting such a danger,” Gulyas said. “In that house directly adjacent to where the fox was laying is a 4-year-old little girl. Across the street are two kids under the age of 10. I can’t possibly tell you how many children play in that area, let alone the number of people walking the neighborhood in the morning either with a pet or alone.”
According to Brown, the health department is currently distributing a rabies notice to residents in the area the fox was located. They’re advised to contact the health department immediately if they or their pets have had contact with the rabid fox. Citizens are also advised to immediately report animals that appear sick or that are acting in an unusual manner, as there may be additional rabid animals in the area.
Brown also encouraged residents to ensure their pets’ rabies vaccinations were current.
In addition to the fox in Berlin, officials also confirmed a cat in Girdletree had rabies this week. There have now been 18 laboratory confirmed cases of rabies in Worcester County this year.