A trapping program conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in Bath concluded on March 30, according to a news release from the city of Bath.

The program, approved by Bath City Council in February in response to an influx of rabid animals that resulted in 18 fox attacks on people and pets over the past year, was designed to reduce the density of animal species that may carry rabies, such as gray fox, red fox, skunk and raccoon, in the city.

Twenty-four raccoons and four skunks were captured and euthanized. Twenty-six other animals were captured and released.

Testing is underway to determine whether any of the captured animals were infected by rabies. Two gray fox, three skunks, two brown bats, one muskrat, one brown rat and one raccoon found dead or euthanized separately from the trapping program in Bath were also collected for sampling.

Three cats were inadvertently caught and were released into the custody of the Bath Police Department’s animal control officer, who returned the cats to their owners.

More details are expected to be released in June.

“The City will have no additional information to share regarding the trapping program until the report is complete,” the release states.

The city plans to develop a plan to deal with the rabies outbreak that includes public education efforts and low-cost dog and cat vaccination clinics.

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