Raccoon tests positive for rabies

Published 5:00 pm Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A man shot and killed a raccoon over the weekend after observing it behaving strangely.

Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed today that the animal killed tested positive for rabies, making it the first case of the year for Butler County.. The animal was spotted on County Road 75 north and was taken to Watson Animal Clinic. The ADPH sent the animal to a Mobile area lab to confirm its status.

Senior Environmentalist Jim Wood said that the raccoon was not exposed to any pets or humans.

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“We just want to make sure animal owners know that rabies is out there, and that they should get their animals vaccinated,” Wood said.

Wood said that as days are getting longer, the chance of being exposed to such animals increases. The first thing to remember when confronted with a questionable animal is to get away immediately.

“Anytime you see a fox or raccoon out in the daytime or otherwise acting strange, you should steer clear of it,” Wood said.

Then, Wood said, the citizen should notify the Department of Health so they can minimize the chance of the rabies spreading. If bitten, Wood said, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Also, if you suspect your pet has been exposed to rabies, contact your veterinarian to get your animal tested.