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How to support your local wildlife this spring

By: Catie Leary on March 27, 2014, 8 a.m.
coyote pups

Photo: HSUS

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Don't rush to judgment about rabies

Rabies is a highly contagious viral disease that inflicts fatal neurological damage on its victims. It is nearly impossible to cure if not treated within the first few days of transmission, so it's easy to understand why the thought of being in close quarters with a rabid animal can be so frightening.

While it's always important to be cautious around wild animals that may harbor diseases, it's a myth that seeing raccoons, foxes or coyotes (like the pups on the left) in the daylight hours means they have rabies. Unless they are exhibiting strange behavior — such as circling, dragging themselves, feigning injury or acting uncharacteristically aggressive — there is no need to call animal control assistance.