Raccoon in Surry tests positive for rabies

Published 9:40 pm Friday, April 9, 2021

A grayish brown and black North American raccoon has tested positive for rabies in Surry County, according to the Crater Health District.

The raccoon bit a dog in an unprovoked attack on April 3 near New Design Road, the Crater Health District stated in an email news release. The Surry Health Department and Surry Animal Control continue to encourage animal owners to confirm that all pet vaccinations, especially rabies, are current.

“Please notify public health officials or animal control immediately if you live near New Design Road and think that you or your pet(s) had contact with the infected raccoon. The community’s safety is our priority. Make sure your pets are vaccinated, especially against rabies,” emphasizes Crater Health District Director Dr. Alton Hart Jr.

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“Rabies is a preventable disease. We encourage all pet owners to vaccinate their animals to protect them and the community,” shares Toinette Waldon, Environmental Health Manager, Crater Health District.

The Health Department strongly advises that people take the following steps to prevent families and pets from being exposed to rabies:

  • Vaccinate all cats, dogs and ferrets against rabies and keep them up to date.
  • Avoid contact with wild animals or stray cats and dogs.
  • Do not feed wild animals or stray cats and dogs.
  • Report stray animals to your local animal control agency.
  • Eliminate outdoor food sources around the home.
  • Keep pets confined to your property or walk them on a leash.

To report a stray and/or suspicious animal, please contact Surry Animal Control at 757-294-0158, or for emergencies call 757-294-5264. If you have concerns about exposure to rabies, contact your healthcare provider immediately. For more information on protecting your family from rabies, call 804-863-1652 or visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-epidemiology/rabies-control/ or www.cdc.gov/rabies/.