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raccoon Environmental health officials stated that a raccoon that appeared to have been killed by dogs in Fannin County has tested positive for rabies.
Shannon Bradburn of the Fannin County Environmental Health Department said the state laboratory reported the positive rabies test results to their office late on Friday, March 20, 2009.
"It seems a raccoon that was found dead at a residence off Williamstown Road in McCaysville on Thursday, March 19, was killed by dogs," said Mr. Bradburn. "The resident said that it appeared the raccoon was killed by two dogs living on the property, and the resident took the raccoon to a local veterinarian who prepared the raccoon for testing. Environmental health shipped the raccoon to the state lab in Decatur that same afternoon, and we received the confirmation of rabies late the next day." 
Neither dog on the property had been vaccinated against rabies, so their owner said both dogs would be euthanized immediately.
Health officials continue to urge the public to maintain rabies vaccinations in all pets and livestock.
"Domestic animals that are not vaccinated against rabies and are bitten by a potentially rabid animal pose a threat to the safety of the community," explained Mr. Bradburn.  "Therefore, if it is determined an unvaccinated pet or livestock has been exposed to rabies, or even if the animal that bit them cannot be found or tested, the unvaccinated domestic animal will have to be euthanized or placed under a very strict six-month quarantine. All this could be easily avoided with a readily available vaccine."
Officials also remind the public to avoid all unfamiliar animals.
For more information about rabies and rabies prevention, contact the Fannin County Environmental Health Department at (706) 632-3024, or log onto the CDC website at