Rabid Raccoon Attack in Macon Highlights Pet Safety

MACON, Ga. — If your pet hasn’t had a rabies shot, the State Department of Public Health says this is your reminder.

In accordance with Georgia law, all domestic dogs and cats must receive their annual rabies booster vaccination administered by a licensed veterinarian.

On Thursday, they reported that a raccoon in the Lakeside Hills neighborhood of Macon tested positive for rabies.

The Macon-Bibb County Department of Animal Welfare says the raccoon attacked a dog in the neighborhood, and the dog will be monitored for 45 days to see if it is infected.

The virus can be transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal through a bite or scratch, so remember not to hold or feed wild animals. You should remind your kids too.

Cson Johnson, assistant manager for Macon Bibb Animal Enforcement, says if you think your pet has been infected by a wild animal, seek help immediately.

“If you suspect that your animal has been in contact with wildlife, please contact animal control or the health department as soon as possible. This is an urgent matter and we want to be able to help you as soon as possible.” Johnson says.

If you are bitten, you will want to take it seriously as well. Symptoms of rabies in humans can include fever, headache, and fatigue, progressing to hallucinations, paralysis, and fear of water. Death usually comes days later.

Johnson says that for people who live in areas with lots of wildlife and want extra protection for their pets or children, the Department of Natural Resources website has lots of tips on safe prevention options.

A Georgia rabies control manual can also be downloaded from the Department of Environmental Health website.

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