Rabies Outbreak

Wow, what a mess. Let’s start at the beginning. On a farm near Newton, a dog gave birth to some pups. She was not vaccinated against rabies. She then killed a rabid skunk, and ta da, we have the beginnings of a situation.

It’s no surprise that her pups got rabies. They’re nursing, licking their mother and doing all those little puppy things. Then, the family sold them to a puppy broker in Chesley who calls itself Feed Me More Pets. The broker didn’t bother to ask if the pups’ mother had been vaccinated. I know the puppies themselves are too young to get any shots, but the mother certainly isn’t, and doesn’t any respectable and responsible person selling puppies want to know sort of where they came from?

They took the puppies, along with other puppies, to Dr. Flea’s Flea Market and sold them. Ta da! Now we have a true situation. All those pups probably have rabies, since it spreads between animals really easily, and anyone who played with them could have it too.

Weirdly enough, I’m simultaneously angry and thankful for the stupidity of one family, mostly angry. They bought a puppy from this booth because their little boy had been asking for a puppy since Christmas. They saw the price and got all excited and took the plunge! It’s families like these that piss me off. If you’re going to buy an animal, make it a responsible decision, think long and hard, and don’t just get it because the kid has been asking for one. You’re taking care of another life. Have the decency to give it some thought. When I used to live out in the country, I would see a lot of these abandoned pets. Once they weren’t cute anymore, they were just dumped off to fend for themselves. The main thoughts were “they’re animals, they were meant to be in the wild…” or “Somebody will take them in.” In response to the first thought, if an animal is raised in captivity, they lose a lot of those wild instincts, and they won’t survive. They certainly won’t survive an encounter with real wild animals. In response to the second thought, yeah, way to take responsibility.

Anyway, shortly after getting the puppy, it got sick. They took it to the vet and found out the treatment was going to be too much money. Arg! If you’re going to buy a puppy, at least expect some outlay of cash! It isn’t all fun and games. I guess I can’t truly understand until I hear how much the price tag was, but judging by their approach to getting the puppy, it might not have been that much.

So, because the vet bills were too high, they dumped the puppy off at the Humane Society, where it bit a worker, died, and was found to have rabies. The worker has started rabies treatments and they think he will be fine.

Now here’s the part where I say why I’m thankful for their stupidity. At least they didn’t abandon it somewhere, so it could run around spreading rabies even more, or try to keep it, and not tell anyone until it died and who knows who was infected. At least they took it to the humane society. Then, the word could start getting around so other people can get treated and hopefully all the dogs can be found.

As of now, 2 dogs have died from Rabies, and four others have been quarantined, but there are 6 other puppies running around who could potentially start to show signs. There is a hotline people can call to let Public Health know if they came into contact with a rabid dog, and find out what to do. There are going to be a lot of people getting treated for rabies.

As I write about this, I’m amazed this sort of thing doesn’t happen more often. I don’t think a lot of pet stores ask if the mothers of pups have been vaccinated etc. There are lots of people who give away or sell puppies at their homes. When I was a kid, we got our first dog that I can remember this way. But I guess most people vaccinate their dogs so they don’t get Rabies. What a scary thought, and what a pile of chaos this has created.

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