A DOG was bitten on the nose by a rat in the midst of what appears to be a rodent infestation in an area in Cobh.
Olive Whelan was working in her front yard at her home in Árd Aoibhinn, where she has lived for the past 15 years, when a rat ran into her front yard and under her car.
Following advice from her neighbour, Olive started the car so the rat wouldn’t go into the engine.
The rat ran across the yard and under the back gate into her garden where her two black labradors, Beau and Duke, were playing.
The rodent bit Beau on the nose.
Olive, who is a chef, said there was pandemonium, with people rushing into the homes and closing the windows and doors.
“We all panicked, everyone ran inside and began locking up their houses. I ran Beau’s nose under cold water and took him to the vet immediately.”
The mother of five, who had been at home with her husband when the rat appeared, said their dog has recovered from the incident.
“Thankfully we keep up to date with injections and we don’t get rabies in Ireland, which I was glad to learn, so Beau is fine. He was a little panicked for a while and Duke was whining for Beau when he went to the vet but they are both alright now.”
Olive said there have been several other rat appearances in recent days.
“Several rats have been spotted by people out walking their dogs in the morning. Apparently, the rats were walking along the walls. Another neighbour found a dead rat in her drive three days ago.”
As well as this a number of people have mentioned seeing rats on the green area where the local children play.
“They are dirty animals, rats, you don’t know what they could be carrying and to have them in the same area as where the children play could be an issue.
“It’s like they were disturbed or something and they are all roaming around our estate now.”
The chef said that she usually leaves her windows open and routinely sleeps with her bedroom window open but said that since seeing the rat her house has been securely locked up.
“It’s the same with all the neighbours, everyone has every door and window shut tight and it’s a pity with the good weather we are getting at the moment!”
Olive called the HSE and reported the issue to them in order to ensure that the problem was addressed.
A spokesperson for the County Council said they are aware of the issue: “The Council are aware of an incident in a property in Cobh and the matter is being dealt with in conjunction with the Environmental Health Officer from the HSE who covers the Cobh area.”