Rabid raccoon found in Petersburg

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — A raccoon collected from the 200 block of New Street in Petersburg tested positive for rabies, according to the Crater District Health Departments.

Petersburg Animal Care and Control is also monitoring a dog that came in contact with the raccoon.

Officials advise pet owners in the area and throughout the city to check shot records for their pets to ensure that their rabies shots are up to date. Additionally, do not feed or make contact with any wild or stray animals. Parents should remind their children not to approach wild or stray animals and not to touch any animal they do not know as well.

“Rabies can be a potentially fatal disease. One of the best ways to prevent rabies infection is to use caution when encountering wild or stray animals, and to get your pets vaccinated,” urges Tim Jones, Environmental Health Manager, Crater District Health Departments.

“We want to ensure all residents of Petersburg are safe. If you feel you or your pets may have been exposed to a rabid animal, please immediately notify the Petersburg Health Department or Petersburg Animal Care and Control,” shared Esther Hyatt, Public Information Officer, Petersburg Bureau of Police.

Rabies is a preventable viral disease that infects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). It is most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid (infected) animal. Once infected, rabies ultimately leads to death.

If your pet needs to be vaccinated for rabies, Petersburg Animal Care and Control and Crater Road Veterinary Hospital will host a rabies clinic at 464 South Crater Road, Petersburg, Virginia 23803. The clinic will be held on Saturday, October 17, 2015 from 12:15 pm to 1:15 pm. Rabies vaccinations will be $8 each. For more information, or to report any other suspicious animal, please contact Petersburg Animal Care and Control at 804- 732-3654 or Crater Road Veterinary Hospital at 804-733-8202.

For more information about rabies, or how to protect your family visit craterhd.net or call 804-863-1652. Also, you can visit Crater Health District on Facebook /CRATERHD and Twitter @CraterHD.

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