Harris County residents with pets should make sure the animals are vaccinated after tests confirmed two raccoons were rabid in Cataula and Pine Mountain, a public health official said Thursday.
Tests completed on Wednesday confirmed that a raccoon on Pole Bridge Road in Pine Mountain and another on Highway 27 in Cataula had rabies, said Pamela Fair, a public information officer for the West Central Health District. If any person or animals have come into contact with raccoons in these areas, the Harris County Health Department said you should immediately contact the health department, animal control and your physician.
“Once you know that you got a laboratory confirmed case of rabies in any area, that really needs to sound the alarm for people to jump to action,” Fair said. “Whether it’s one or two, we want to sound the alarm. If we see anymore or get any calls on animals being attacked or animals acting strangely, we will continue to test and report that out to the community.”
Fair said at least two cats and 11 dogs were either in the vicinity of the raccoons or fought with the animal. “Those animals will either be quarantined or euthanized according to protocol,” Fair said. “That is going to be largely based on their vaccination.”
The health department and animal control posted flyers to make sure that area residents were notified about the raccoons.
Anyone with dogs, cats and other animals should have them vaccinated to protect the animal, pet owner and the entire community.
An aggressive raccoon attacked several animals Sunday on Highway 27 in the first case. Two days later, a raccoon in a separate incident attacked animals on Pole Bridge Road. In each case the raccoon was killed and tested for rabies. Both were tested on Wednesday at the state laboratory and confirmed to have rabies.
In addition to getting all your dogs and cats vaccinated, residents are advised not to pick up or handle any stray dog, cat or any wild animal. Any bites should be reported county animal control and the health department. Any animals behaving strangely or aggressively should be reported to the animal control.
If your pet is behaving strangely or is injured, you should immediately contact your veterinarian.
Anyone who is scratched or bitten by any animal should wash and rinse the wound thoroughly for several minutes, apply a disinfectant, seek medical attention and report the bite to the health department and animal control.
Residents with questions should contact the West Central Health District at 706-321-6108.