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Rabid Raccoon Captured in the Village

Thursday, July 19, 2012

On Tuesday, July 17 at about 1:00 p.m., Village Police responded to calls for sightings of a raccoon behaving strangely in the area of East Lenox Street between Brookville Road and Nevada Avenue. Officers located the raccoon and captured it in the side yard of a home at the corner of East Melrose Street and Nevada Avenue. The Animal Services Division (ASD) of the Montgomery County Police Department responded and took custody of the animal.

Today (July 19), the Police Department learned that the raccoon tested positive for rabies. According to ASD, rabies is not uncommon in this area or anywhere else in Maryland. They advised never to approach any wildlife, and to call the both the Village Police and ASD's animal emergency line (240-773-5900) if you see a wild animal behaving in an abnormal manner.

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The following additional information is from the CDC regarding rabies and preventive steps you and your family can take:

While all mammals are susceptible to contracting rabies, only a few species are important as reservoirs for the disease: raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes and bats.

People usually get rabies from the bite of a rabid animal. It is also possible, but quite rare, that people may get rabies if infectious material from a rabid animal, such as saliva, gets directly into their eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound. Other contact, such as petting a rabid animal or contact with the blood, urine or feces of a rabid animal, does not constitute an exposure.

When a human gets rabies, it's often because a pet got rabies first. The good news is that there are things children and adults alike can do to help make sure your pets never get rabies. That way, they will stay healthy and won't cause humans to get rabies.

Things you should do include:

  • Take your pets to a veterinarian on a regular basis. The veterinarian will keep your pets up-to-date on their rabies shots, which helps protect them from rabies. Call animal control to remove all stray animals from your neighborhood. These animals may not have gotten their rabies shot and can give other animals and people rabies.
  • Remind kids not to go near stray animals and remind them to tell an adult if they see a pet wandering around without any person watching them closely.
  • Keep your pets indoors. When a dog goes outside, make sure an adult is there to watch it and keep it safe. Make sure children know not to take their pet outside without an adult around.
  • Do not feed or put water for your pets outside. Keep your garbage covered. These items may cause wild animals to come near your yard or house.
  • Stay away from wild animals.