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Clearwater, FL with humane critter
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It wasn't long ago that Clearwater
was mostly forested and rural.
of our wild friends either get
pushed out or become 'urbanized'.
property is an ideal habitat.
Trash cans and pet food are easy
meals and swimming pools are convenient
toilets and bathing spots.
harmless as their intentions may
be, some wildlife
can be extremely destructive
to your property.
Trapper Guy will come out and
the live animal
from your property and if possible,
I will fix the damage caused and
make preventative measures so
they won't return.
proper wildlife control
we can co-exist with our wild
hour services are for emergencies
only. Live animal in a living
area where safety of the occupants
is in question is considered an
FL wildlife news
to drop rabies vaccine
If you find a fishy smelling chunk,
it might be a bait that is designed
to inoculate raccoons, but works on
By THERESA BLACKWELL
Published February 23, 2005
If the sunshine holds, fishy-smelling
bait filled with rabies vaccine will
rain over Pinellas County again starting
Pinellas County Animal
Services plans to launch its annual
aerial assault on rabies. The campaign
began 10 years ago in response to 30
rabies cases that year. County helicopters
will drop at least 20,000 rabies baits
over Pinellas during a month's time.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is
paying for the baits.
The main treatment area
lies north of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard
and includes the Brooker Creek Preserve,
the county's borders with Hillsborough
and Pasco counties and Honeymoon and
Caladesi islands. Officials will try
to put the baits wherever there are
isolated woods, said Welch Agnew, the
assistant director of veterinary services
for Pinellas County Animal Services.
Other areas include
Weedon Island, Gandy Flats, the St.
Airport, Pinellas County Utilities Solid
Waste, Fort DeSoto Park and other parks
south of Gulf-to-Bay.
County officials say
the oral vaccine program works, but
it's only part of the solution to protecting
residents and their pets from rabies.
pets," Agnew said. "That's
the key to the whole rabies control
Agnew said the vaccine
protects your pets. It also provides
a buffer zone between humans and wildlife
With the aerial vaccination
program, new cases of animals with the
raccoon strain of rabies went down to
one animal each year in 1998, 1999 and
2000. Numbers crept up slightly in subsequent
years, so the county put out an increased
number of baits in 2004.
Last year, raccoons
confirmed as rabid mingled with humans
three times in Pinellas County, twice
in Palm Harbor and once in northern
Clearwater. And a rabid bat crawled
up the leg of a woman at an outdoor
restaurant in St. Petersburg. On Feb.
10, a rabid raccoon was found near Clearwater
Christian College, north of Gulf-to-Bay
The oral rabies vaccine
is sealed in a covering that ruptures
when the raccoon bites into the fish
meal bait. It's not harmful to humans
or pets, Agnew said, except that it
may cause pets some stomach upset. And
people with compromised immune systems
should avoid the vaccine.
If you find one of the
baits in a high-traffic area, use a
plastic bag to throw it into woods,
The bait targets raccoons,
the primary source of rabies in Florida,
though not the only source. The bait
works on some other animals, like foxes
and coyotes. Bats also may carry their
own strain of rabies, but they eat insects
like mosquitoes, not baits.
"It's hard to put
(vaccine) in a mosquito," Agnew
For information, call
Pinellas County Animal Services at (727)
582-2600 or the Pinellas County Health
Department, Environmental Health Division,
at (727) 507-4336.