Rabid Raccoon Found in Boynton Beach, Department of Health Issues Warning

A rabid raccoon was found in Boynton Beach after a resident spotted the animal and noticed the symptoms.

The raccoon was spotted Sunday in the 3000 block of Churchill Drive, just west of Seacrest Boulevard.

The resident then called Animal Care and Control, who tested the raccoon and the Palm Beach County Health Department verified that it indeed had rabies.

See also: Rabid Kitten Found in Palm Beach County

Health department officials are now urging pet owners to check on their pets, and to make sure they've been vaccinated and that the vaccinations are up to date.

Health department's spokesman, Tim O'Connor, released a statement on the raccoon:

"All citizens in Palm Beach County should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. The public is asked to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in this area."

This is the second rabid animal found in Palm Beach County in a matter of weeks

Just last month, a kitten infected with rabies was found in Palm Beach County.

The kitten was found with bite wounds, and the people who had cared for it were exposed to rabies, forcing them to seek immediate treatment.

Rabies is a deadly viral disease that can be prevented but not cured. The virus attacks the nerves and brain tissue of warm blooded animals including people.

If exposed, individuals must begin a series of rabies shots within 10 days of exposure.

Here's a useful checklist, provided by the Florida Department of Health in regards to rabies, and how to be aware:

-All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats, wild cats, wild dogs and coyotes.

-Pet owners are urged to keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.

-If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Animal Care & Control at 561-233-1200.

-Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.

-Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.

-Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.

-Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.

-Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.

-Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas, where they might come in contact with people and pets.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph