Brooksville, Florida -- One of three raccoons recently killed by two dogs tested positive for rabies, according to the Department of Health in Hernando County.
Although the dogs' owner claims they are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations, the animals have been quarantined for 45 days.
Residents in the area are encouraged to report any stray animals or to report wild animals exhibiting aggressive or unusual behavior to Hernando County Animal Services at (352) 796-5062.
Foxes, raccoons, bats, and skunks commonly carry the rabies virus. Animals with rabies may show strange behavior. They may be aggressive, attack for no apparent reason, or act very tame. They may drool a lot due to difficulty swallowing. They also may stagger or become paralyzed.
The Florida Department of Health in Hernando County recommends that residents and visitors always follow these guidelines to help prevent exposure to rabid animals:
- Vaccinate all dogs, cats and ferrets over the age of three months against rabies.
- Vaccinations should be performed by a licensed veterinarian.
- Avoid all free-roaming dogs, cats and wild animals.
- Do not allow pets to run free. Follow leash laws and keep pets and livestock secured on your property. Consider fencing areas that children and pets commonly use.
- Do not feed or pet wild animals. Secure garbage so that it does not attract wild animals.