RAVENA — Video of Coeymans Police using their vehicles to deliberately strike and kill a raccoon Monday has drawn outrage on social media.
The incident occurred in the parking lot at Faith Plaza.
The animal was thought to be rabid, according to police.
Responding to the video that quickly spread across social media and the outrage it drew, the Coeymans Police Department released a statement on Facebook, where the video first surfaced.
The department had received “numerous calls” about a raccoon that was thought to be rabid and was trying to get into one of the local businesses, according to the statement.
“Our officers did find the raccoon, but it was not in an area that was safe to discharge a firearm due to the proximity of pedestrians and residences,” according to the statement. “They dispatched the raccoon as quickly and humanely as possible.”
Critics questioned the method of using a pair of vehicles to kill the animal.
Rabies is a potentially fatal condition that affects the brain and can be passed from animal to animal, or from animal to people. Raccoons are among the most likely animals to contract rabies, along with foxes and bats, according to the Centers for Disease Control website.
Symptoms of rabies in raccoons include a staggering gait, erratic wandering, discharge from the eyes or mouth, wet and matted hair on the face, repeated high-pitched vocalization, self-mutilation or being oblivious to noise or movement, according to The Humane Society of the United States website.
Stay tuned for more on this developing story.