A raccoon killed by two dogs in Cumberland County was rabid, the state reported Tuesday. It’s the eighth case of rabies in the county this year.
Animal Control picked up a raccoon Sunday from Hunting Bay Drive in Spring Lake after a woman reported that her two dogs killed and buried the animal. The dogs’ owner, while wearing gloves, dug the raccoon up and contacted Animal Control for rabies testing.
The two dogs had current rabies vaccinations and the owner was advised to get them booster vaccines.
All pet owners are urged to check the vaccination status of their pets, Cumberland County officials said. If pets are not vaccinated or are due for a booster shot, they should be taken to a local veterinarian for rabies vaccination immediately.
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. Animals usually die within a week after first becoming ill.
Any pet, which appears to have been in a fight while outside, should be handled very cautiously and seen by a veterinarian.
If you are bitten or scratched by an animal:
• Immediately wash the wound under running water for at least 10 minutes with lots of soap. Seek medical attention/advice.
• Call Animal Control at 321-6852 Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call the Sheriff’s Office at 323-1500 after 5 p.m., weekends and holidays.
• Go to the emergency room.
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. Pets must be vaccinated when they reach the age of four months.