By Diana Bowley of the Bangor Daily News - DEXTER - A local woman who killed a skunk that had been bothering her dog learned this week the animal was rabid.
t was the second report of a rabid skunk in Penobscot County in recent months. In late August, a Charleston woman also killed a skunk that tested positive for rabies.
Mary Hunter, 63, of Railroad Avenue said she was cleaning her house at 1 p.m. Tuesday when she heard her mixed terrier Timmy yelp. Hunter said she looked outside from her porch and saw a skunk near her dog.
Hunter said she went outside armed with a branch cutter and struck the skunk to get it to move away from her pet. The skunk sprayed in the process, but both Hunter and her dog managed to escape the cloud, she said.
"It kind of polluted the neighborhood," she said.
After securing her 14-year-old dog inside the porch, Hunter said she grabbed a spade fork and went after the skunk that by then had wandered onto a neighbor’s lawn. She killed the animal with a couple more blows. "I never killed an animal before," Hunter said, but she said she worried for the neighborhood, where many other dogs live. "I didn’t want the skunk to get away."
Hunter said she called the authorities and a local game warden picked up the skunk the next morning and took it to Augusta for testing.
Vicki Rae of the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed on Thursday that the skunk had been rabid.
Hunter said she took her dog to the veterinarian but no wounds were found. Since the dog was not up to date on its rabies shots, Hunter said it has been placed under house quarantine for six months.
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