Person handling injured raccoon identified

BROCKVILLE – The region’s health unit says the person who dropped off an injured raccoon at the Brockville Animal Hospital last month that might have had rabies has come forward.

“Someone has identified themselves as the person who brought the animal in and rabies transmission and contact with saliva was discussed. There were no reported bites, scratches or saliva contact with their face or skin,” said Susan Healey, spokeswoman for the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit.

The raccoon was dropped off Thursday, June 30, 2016 and the health unit put out a public notice because it was concerned about potential disease transmission.

The animal, which eventually died, was unfit for testing but the risk was very low that the raccoon had rabies, the health unit said.

The case underscores the reason people should not handle wild animals. The health unit shared these tips to make sure you keep your family safe:

  • Warn your children to stay away from wild or stray animals.
  • Do not keep wildlife as pets. It is against the law.
  • Have your pets vaccinated according to instructions from your veterinarian.
  • Do not feed wild animals. You may be putting your family in danger.
  • Discourage wild animals from taking up residence in your home or on your property. For example, cover up potential entrances such as uncapped chimneys, loose shingles, and openings in attacks, roofs and eaves. You may want to contact a professional for advice.
  • Do not attempt to trap wild animals that are causing damage to your property. Instead, contact a professional animal control officer to remove nuisance animals.
  • Do not trap and transport wild animals to a new location. It is illegal.
  • Do not touch dead animals. Bury or dispose of them carefully, and make sure pets cannot get at the carcasses.
  • If you find a wild or stray animal that appears to be sick, do not try to nurse the animal to health. When an animal is in need of help, it requires specialized care to recover and return to the wild.
  • If your own pet is sick, contact your vet immediately.
  • If you think you, or any member of your family, has been in contact with a rabid animal, immediately contact your local Health Unit, doctor, or go to your local emergency health care department.
  • If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, clean the wound with soap and water and report the exposure to your local Health Unit.
  • Get your pets vaccinated against rabies. You can visit our clinics in September for cats and dogs or go to your vet.