West Springfield Police and animal control officials are looking into reports of a group of rabid foxes.
According to the West Springfield Police Department and animal control received reports of foxes in the area of Belmont Avenue being aggressive towards people. Police advised residents to be cautious in the area.
West Springfield parent Michelle Vickers told 22News various forms of wildlife have visited her backyard and she understands why.
“We’re bringing all this development, we’re taking their homes away,” Vickers said. “So I feel they don’t know where to go, they’re scared, and they’re just looking for food and shelter.”
According to a statement issued in the neighborhood West Springfield’s Animal Control Officer, along with police officers, went to the Mittineague neighborhood to deal with the issue.
A doctor with Mobile Vet of Western Massachusetts told 22News, even if an animal isn’t aggressive, they could still be infected. According to data from the state, in 2017, fewer than 100 animals tested positive for rabies.
Rabies almost always kills animals and humans that haven’t been vaccinated. While it takes a test on an animal’s brain to determine if it’s rabid, there are signs you can look for.
“In reality, most wild animals are pretty suspicious of people, and wouldn’t be coming to your yard normally,” said Dr. Robert Sidorsky. “So the bottom line is any abnormal behavior. Some animals can look sick, some animals can be aggressive.”
Every year, house pets are infected with the rabies virus, particularly cats, so it is important to keep vaccinations up to date for cats and dogs.
A person who may have been bitten by a rabid animal must receive a series of vaccinations over several weeks to avoid getting infected.
If you see an animal exhibiting odd behavior, you’re urged to call animal control or police.