A pet owner shot and killed a rabid fox that attacked his cat in Boothbay Harbor on Sunday.

It was the 26th case of rabies reported in a wild animal, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC tally, which includes data through May 8, reveals that raccoons are the mostly likely animal to contract rabies with 17 cases reported in that species. Three foxes, four skunks and two bats also have been infected with rabies.

Lt. Michael Murphy of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that Lincoln County Animal Control Officer Will Snowman responded Sunday to the report of a possible rabid fox that had been shot and killed by a property owner in Boothbay Harbor.

Murphy said the fox attacked a domestic cat on Simmons Drive. Snowman bagged the fox and contacted the Maine Wardens Service, which transported the dead animal to the Maine CDC in Augusta for testing. The cat was placed in quarantine at the family’s home. The Maine CDC confirmed Wednesday that the fox tested positive for rabies.

Rabies is a disease that is caused by a virus. It can affect the brain and the spinal cord and can cause death if left untreated.

Anyone who discovers an animal they suspect may have rabies should avoid contact and immediately call 911.

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