Woden man concerned about rabid animals near school

WODEN, TX (KTRE) - A Woden man said he had no choice but to kill a skunk Thursday that he believes carried rabies. Howard Hannon is hoping pet owners will take caution after he found the infected rodent walking in his yard.

Thursday morning he hear non-stop barking from his Chihuahuas that caused Hannon to notice something strange was happening in his front yard.

"I looked out the window and I saw a sickly looking skunk walking around in my yard," Hannon said.

Hannon said it's not un-common to find stray animals in the rural area where he lives.

"I followed him and tried to get a chance to assess to situation," Hannon said. "He had a lot of froth coming from his nose and mouth. He couldn't walk; he was stumbling around like he was drunk."

He then realized it must be a rabid skunk so he grabbed his pellet gun.

"Before he hit the highway I went ahead and took the shot and put him down," Hannon said.

The Woden man felt this was definitely a safety concern for his neighborhood.

"School starts next week and we're only a block away from the school. The fact is rabid skunks are a common problem," Hannon said. "They are more rabid than a raccoon."

He contacted local law enforcement once he buried the skunk.

"They really didn't have an idea how to deal with it," Hannon said. "I went down to the constable's office and filed a report."

Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges said it's important to take caution and contact law enforcement if you come in contact with a wild animal carrying a disease.

Bridges said it's understood if you have to take the rabid animal down, but its best to let them catch the animal and have animal control test it for rabies.

"If it's rabid, we need to know that it exist in this neighborhood," Hannon said.

Hannon hopes pet owners take caution each day because the skunk could have killed an animal or even a child.

Hannon said he contacted animal control Thursday but said he was told if he wanted the skunk tested for rabies he would have to pay for it.

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