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Raccoon, Bat Test Positive for Rabies in New Canaan

New Canaan had two rabies tests returned positive this week. In one instance, a bat found in a home returned positive from testing and in the second, a dog got into a fight with a raccoon that ended up testing positive. 

In the most recent rabies discovery, New Canaan Animal Control Officer Maryann Kleinschmitt said a Siberian Husky got into an altercation with the rabid raccoon along Greenley Road. The dog is now undergoing on-site confinement for 45 days and the owner has already begun a series of rabies treatments. 

"The dog had the raccoon in its mouth and the caregiver grabbed the dog, getting the dog's saliva on their hands," said Kleinschmitt. "If that person has any cuts on their hands or touches any of their mucous membranes, they're in danger of contracting rabies."

On Meadow Lane, a bat found earlier this week tested positive after being found alive on the bedroom floor of a home there. It is the second bat to test positive this year, Kleinschmitt said. 

In June, Kleinschmitt also said they found three bats in a single home, but no signs the bats had been nesting for any extended period of time, including things like accumulated guano, or bat droppings. Bat season runs from August through the end of September, and Kleinschmitt warns homeowners to especially keep an eye out for home breaches during this period.

Kleinschmitt said the best ways to protect a house from bats is to make sure doors are always closed, window screens are closed and undamaged if the windows are open and to make sure chimneys have caps and closed flues. 

If a bat is found inside the home, it must be caught and sent for testing. Bat bites can sometimes go unnoticed and they can leave saliva across household surfaces, so extra precautions are always advised. 

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