For many years the USDA has been dropping vaccine baits across the US in the hopes of keeping rabies at bay.  This year Maine has seen a small spike in reports of rabid animal encounters. Estimates are that 13 of 16 counties have reported both possible and confirmed rabid animals.

The way that the baiting program works  according to the USDA:

WS and their cooperators will begin distributing ORV baits on or about Aug. 1 across rural areas by airplane and in suburban or urban areas by helicopter or vehicle. ORV baits are coated with a fishmeal attractant and are packaged in one-inch square cubes or two-inch plastic sachets.

The Houlton, ME, project will cover parts of northern Maine, and distribute more than 351,000 ORV baits by airplane and vehicle.

The USDA also assures Mainers that the  RABORAL V-RG® vaccine is safe for more than 60 different species of animals, including domestic dogs and cats. And although you can't get rabies from the baits is you see them you should leave them alone. And in the instance that you dog find and eats numerous baits the worst thing you might see as a result is an upset stomach. Lastly if you do inadvertently pick one up simple soap and water immediately is what they recommend. See pictures here of what the baits will look like.

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