Rabid raccoons causing scare for pet owners in northern Palm Beach County

Multiple raccoons have been confirmed to be infect

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Several raccoons have tested positive for the rabies virus after a series of scary incidents in northern Palm Beach County.

Wildlife experts say a number of rabid raccoons have been found in busy, urbanized places. For some people and their pets, it has proven to be too close.

Roxi, a bull dog mix, is currently being quarantined at her owner's home since her run-in with a rabid raccoon. It happened on the home's in Palm Beach Gardens.

"That could come out of no where," said Regina Pruitt lives next door with her 8 month old dog, Goose. Pruitt has seen raccoons lingering in the area around her apartment complex near PGA Boulevard and Military Trail more than ever before.

"I thought it was strange because it was daylight. It was crawling around and didn't really have regard for us humans," she said.

At Jupiter's Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, Executive Director David Hitzig says protecting your dog from rabies is also about protecting yourself. "In most cases, it becomes fatal in a human being," said Hitzig. "That's why it is such a dangerous situation."

Health officials say Roxi's owner was not exposed to the rabies virus. They also say that Roxi's rabies vaccination had expired a few weeks prior to the raccoon scratching the dog's paw and chin. So far, her owner says Roxie is not showing any signs of contracting the virus.

"This year has definitely been a very busy season," said Hitzig.

Health officials urge all pet owners to keep rabies vaccinations up to date and to always keep pets in your direct supervision - even in your own yard.


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