Waleska (GA) – Cherokee County Animal Control officials reported to the Cherokee County Environmental Health office last week that a raccoon should be tested for rabies after it bit a dog in Waleska, Georgia.
According to Curtis Barnhart, Cherokee County Environmental Health Manager, a resident on Pleasant Arbor Road in Waleska shot the raccoon on April 5 because it was on the resident’s property behaving aggressively. The raccoon then lunged at the resident, who remained unharmed, but the dog was bitten in the process of defending its owner. The resident immediately took the dog to be treated by a veterinarian and called Animal Control to remove the dead raccoon.
Environmental health sent the raccoon specimen to the Georgia State Public Health Laboratory for rabies testing on April 7, and the positive result was returned on April 9.
The dog was current on its rabies vaccination; therefore, the dog only needed a booster shot and it will be quarantined at home for 45 days.
Health officials urge residents to protect against rabies by maintaining rabies vaccinations in their pets and to avoid contact with all unfamiliar animals, both domestic and wild.
For more information about rabies and its prevention, call the Cherokee County Environmental Health Office at (770) 479-0444 or log onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov.
The annual rabies clinic hosted by 4H in Cherokee County will be held this weekend. For details, go to their website and open their April 2014 Newsletter: http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/Cherokee/4h/index.html