Wareham officials confirm third case of rabies in woodchuck

Sep 8, 2018

The Wareham Department of Natural Resources confirmed the town’s third rabies case of the year in a woodchuck found along Anthony’s Way on Thursday, Sept. 6. The first case was reported in a bat found near Crooked River Road on Aug. 30.

According to a press release, the woodchuck was reported by an Anthony’s Way resident who noticed the animal behaving aggressively in their yard on Sept. 6. Officials from the Wareham Department of Natural Resources responded and collected the woodchuck. The animal was then sent to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health per protocol for testing.

The following evening on Friday, Sept. 7, local officials were notified that the woodchuck had tested positive for rabies, a potentially fatal disease transmitted through the saliva of infected animals.

Officials asked residents to take precautions and noted the woodchuck was found in a separate area of town from the first two cases.

“We are urging everyone to make sure your pets are up to date with their rabies vaccine and tagged accordingly. If you are in doubt, check with your veterinarian,” officials said.

Residents who suspect a wild animal is “acting in a sickly or aggressive fashion” are encouraged to call the Wareham Department of Natural Resources at 508-291-3100 ext. 3180 or the Wareham Police Department at 508-295-1212.