Town of Dartmouth Wildlife Distemper UPDATE
We are seeing an increase in suspected cases of distemper in skunks and raccoons in Town at this time. Properly vaccinating pets and deterring wildlife from close proximity to homes are important precautions all residents should practice to minimize the risk of distemper.
Owners are reminded that unattended pets should not be left outdoors without secure fencing. Wildlife are known to inhabit all areas of town especially this time of the year when demands for food supplies are scarce.
Trash should be kept securely in barrels. Owners should assure unfinished pet food does not remain available to wildlife. Bird feeders can also entice foxes, raccoons, skunks and coyotes; consider seed catchers or discontinue feeding the birds.
If wildlife or coyotes are found close to homes make lots of loud noise to scare the animal away.
If an animal is persistent or unusually bold call Animal Control and leave a message as to the time, location and the situation. Animal Control will log the information. Only if very unusual and threatening behavior or symptoms of distemper are witnessed would any action be taken to remove the animal.
Do not handle wildlife, skunks and raccoons which may transmit disease, including rabies, and any human interference may be more harmful than letting Mother Nature take her course.
Christopher Michaud, Director
Board of Health