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Rabid raccoons a concern in Perryopolis

| Friday, July 12, 2013, 6:58 p.m.

Rabid raccoons are running wild in Perryopolis, and borough council took action this week to stop them from terrorizing residents.

Council agreed to meet with Bob Jenkins of Brownsville, the owner of Nuisance Wildlife Services, to discuss possible solutions for its raccoon problem.

“Bob Jenkins said he wants to come to Perryopolis to assess our raccoon problem and let us know how much it will cost to take care of it,” Councilman Paul Black said.

Norene Halvonik told council members that a rabid raccoon attacked Rochelle Baluch and her dog Sunday night near her Liberty Street home.

“Rochelle was bitten by the raccoon, and then it went after her dog,” Halvonik said. “She said it was very difficult to get the raccoon off her dog. She said it was very wild and vicious, and she believes it was rabid. She is undergoing rabies shots right now.”

Perryopolis Police Detective Steve Kontaxes said Jenkins is willing to come to Perryopolis to check into the problem.

“He will give us an idea of how bad the problem is and how many traps we will need to set to take care of the problem,” Kontaxes said. “He cannot give us a price until he finds out what he needs to do.”

Kontaxes warned residents to call the police if they see a raccoon in their yards.

“Homeowners should not approach the animals,” he said. “They should call the police, and we will try to come out and take care of it.”

Kontaxes said residents should make sure that their garbage cans are secure so raccoons are not attracted into their yards.

“There are a lot of raccoons out there right now, and it's a big problem,” he said. “Residents should keep their garbage secured in metal cans covered with lids. It's better the residents call us. We can shoot the raccoons and dispose of them.”

Kontaxes also advised residents to pay attention to the animals' behavior.

“If a raccoon sees you, it should run away,” he said. “But rabid raccoons will sit there and appear tame. Do not approach them because they will attack you.”

Cindy Ekas is a freelance writer.

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