Rabid raccoon found in Cumberland County

(Wikimedia Commons, D. Gordon E. Robertson )

February 22, 2012 7:34:07 AM PST
A rabid raccoon has been found in Cumberland County, according to the State Public Health Lab.

Animal Control picked up the animal on Monday from a resident on Cedar Creek Road and sent it to the state lab.

Click here to view a map of the location

It is the third case of rabies in the county since January 1.

Authorities are asking residents in the area to be on the lookout for sick or abnormal acting animals.

They say the first sign of rabies in animals is a change in behavior. Animals may become aggressive attacking for no reason or they may become very quiet.

Wild animals can lose their fear of people and act tame. Rabid animals may walk in a circle, drag a leg, or fall over. Some cannot swallow so they are not able to eat or drink and often drool.

Contact Animal Control at (910) 321-6852 or the sheriff's office at (910) 323-1500 if you encounter a suspected rabid animal.

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, officials say you should immediately wash the wound under running water for at least 10 minutes with lots of soap and seek medical attention.

It is also important to vaccinate your pets for rabies and keep their shots current.

Pet owners are reminded that all dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies, as required by state law. Pet owners are subject to a fine of $100 for each unvaccinated dog or cat.

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