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Raccoon tests positive for rabies after encounter with dog at Boynton Beach park

Posted at 3:29 PM, Nov 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-28 04:59:24-05

A raccoon found acting aggressive toward a Shih Tzu near Galaxy Park in Boynton Beach has tested positive for rabies. 

The dog is undergoing further evaluation by Animal Care and Control to determine if quarantine is necessary.

Animal Care & Control was notified Nov. 20 that a raccoon in the area of Galaxy Park was acting aggressive toward a dog. The animal control officer found the raccoon under a vehicle. The dog owner indicated it was the location where they had used a stick on the raccoon to free the dog.  The owner didn't come into contact with the raccoon.

The Shih Tzu will have to be quarantined a minimum of 45 days at its home and possibly longer pending the evaluation.

According to the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County this is the fourth confirmed rabid animal this year in the county. Residents in the area of Galaxy Park should take the necessary precautions to avoid contact with any wild animals.

Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to warm blooded animals and humans. The only treatment for human exposure to rabies is rabies-specific immune globulin and rabies immunization. Appropriate treatment started soon after the exposure will protect an exposed person from the disease.

The following advice is issued:

  • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
  • Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Animal Care & Control at 561-233-1200.
  • Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.
  • Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
  • Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
  • Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas where they might come in contact with people and pets. 

For further information on rabies, go to the Florida Department of Health website or contact the Florida Health Palm Beach County, 561-840-4500.