RHEEMS, Pa. (WHTM) – Northwest Regional police say a rabid raccoon was found near Rheems this week.
Police are urging pet owners to make sure their dogs and cats are up to date with vaccinations, which are required by law.
Pennsylvania Game Commission spokesman Travis Lau said people need to be aware of the problem.
“We always advise folks to leave wildlife in the wild, no matter what the animal species,” Lau said. “There is a list in Pennsylvania of the animals that transmit rabies, that not only become infected with it but also pass it along.”
Raccoons, skunks and cats are the primary carriers in the region.
Carolyn Ricedorf lives in the Rheems area and says news of the rabid raccoon has her taking more precautions.
‘It does concern me because my dogs are out in the yard at night,” Ricedorf said. “We have a fence in our yard, but it won’t keep a raccoon out.”
While vaccinations are not 100 percent guaranteed to prevent the acquisition of rabies, but it gives pets the best possible protection. Experts say once an animal contracts rabies, they will not survive.