Potentially Rabid Animal Runs Into Walmart, Bites Several Customers

An unidentified animal that ran into a Rhode Island Walmart on Monday and bit several customers may have been rabid.

Health officials are urging anyone who was in or around a Walmart in Westerly on July 4 and who came into contact with a small black mammal to come forward.

The animal is described as either a mink, ferret or weasel. At least two people were reportedly bitten by the animal.

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However, neither victim has come forward to seek treatment. 

Because the animal was not tested for rabies, state health officials are working under the assumption that it could have been rabid.

Rabies is a serious disease known to affect all mammals. Once symptoms appear, the disease is always fatal.

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Rabies immunization must be started as soon as possible after exposure, officials warned.

The incident occurred at the Post Road location in Westerly between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Anyone who may have had any physical contact with a small black mammal in the area should contact the Rhode Island Department of Health for an assessment.

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