Tuscarawas County, Ohio (WJER) - County public health officials are again reminding pet owners to make sure their animals are protected against rabies after another raccoon in the county tested positive for the virus.
Tuscarawas County Environmental Health Director Caroline Terakedis says they’ve been notified a dead raccoon at a Henderson School Road location in Warren Township ended up being a carrier earlier this month. The raccoon is the third in the county to test positive for the virus this year.
Terakedis says a dog killed the raccoon, and the owner asked to have it tested.
“We received a phone call from a resident. She told us her dog had killed a raccoon and it was in that area that had some other raccoons that tested positive,” Terakedis explains. “She asked if we could come out and collect it, and we did, and we sent it out to the Ohio Department of Health for testing, and it came back positive.”
Terakedis says, fortunately, the dog was up to date on its vaccines.
“What this should be a reminder of for everyone in Tuscarawas County that owns a cat or a dog or an animal that goes outside at any time or really even your indoor pets, you really, really need to have them vaccinated for rabies,” she says.
Two rabid raccoons have already been identified in the Sherrodsville area this year, and New Philadelphia has also had several bats within the city test positive. All but one of those cases had pet exposures.
Terakedis says they’ll again join the Ohio Department of Health and U.S. Department of Agriculture to monitor area wildlife near the area where the rabid raccoon was found. They’re also asking residents to report any raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes or bobcats displaying strange behavior by calling 330-343-5550 or emailing email@example.com.