WEST COUNTY--Crofton * Odenton * Fort Meade * Gambrills

September 03, 1993

Police kill opossum in rabies scare

An opossum that was killed by a county police officer because he believed it could have rabies tested negative for the disease yesterday, county officials said.

Officer Robert B. Creech was called Tuesday to a home in the 600 block of Chapel Gate Drive in Odenton by a man who said three opossums in his back yard looked sick and were frothing at the mouth.

The officer said in a report that he saw one animal frothing and shot it fatally in the neck when it moved toward him about 11:50 p.m. The two other opossums ran away before the officer arrived.

Although the animal exhibited the symptoms of rabies, a county official said it is rare for opossums to have the deadly disease.

Vic Sulin, deputy director of the county planning and code enforcement office, which oversees animal control, said opossums do not like the hot temperatures.

"It may have had something to do with the heat more than anything else," he said.

Anne Arundel County has had five cases of rabies in animals this year -- four raccoons and one cat.

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