GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — The Germantown Animal Shelter sent out an email to a neighborhood group warning against feeding wild animals in order to prevent rabies.
Arkansas has seen more than 100 rabies cases this year.
Tennessee has seen about 20, though none have been in Shelby County.
“Here is an epidemic and it is on the rise,” said APEX Wildlife Control CEO Charles Harris.
Seventeen of Tennessee’s 20 cases have involved skunks.
Harris said state law requires animal handlers to put down skunks after capture because of rabies.
The Shelby County Health Department said it’s not doing anything differently, but continues to advocate for awareness.
The City of Germantown didn’t want to comment further on the letter, but said =it suggests residents don’t feed wildlife.
Harris said feeding wildlife makes critters more comfortable around humans and can bring disease into communities.