September 29, 2020

First Case Of Rabies Documented in Pennsylvania Coyote

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Spotting a coyote is Pennsylvania isn’t something that is done on any regular basis and finding one infected with rabies is just about unheard of. In Heidelberg Township in Berks County, Pennsylvania, a rabid coyote attacked a family’s two dogs and turned on the people as well.

Craig and Jenny Luckenbill got quite a scare when they encountered the aggressive coyote. The story is quite amazing as well as terrifying. Here’s a quote from the article in the Reading Eagle.

“When the coyote tried to come at me, twice the dog got between me and the coyote to protect me and they got at it again,” Luckenbill said. “My wife was standing in the doorway screaming and I called the dog and we got back into the house.”

The coyote was close behind and was stopped at the front door by Luckenbill’s wife, who struggled to keep the door closed on the coyote’s neck.

“When it tried to come into the house, my other dog Annie got involved to protect my wife,” Luckenbill said.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission says the coyote tested positive for rabies. Fortunately both dogs have had their rabies shots but veterinarians administered a couple of booster shots to be safe.

The Pocono Record has an article that covers the rarity of finding rabies at all in Pennsylvania and also includes educational information about the disease, coyotes and how animals may act when infected.

Tom Remington

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