Public Advised to Vaccinate Pets, Keep Distance from Wildlife
PROVIDENCE - The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today confirmed a raccoon captured on Biltmore Avenue in the Mount Pleasant section of Providence has tested positive for rabies. A domestic cat found in the area was attacked by the raccoon, injured, and subsequently euthanized as a result of the injuries.
The public is asked to report any personal contact with raccoons in this area as well as any potential contact a pet may have had with a raccoon.
If you had contact with a raccoon, call the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) at 401.222.2577, Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; or 401-272-5952 during the weekend or after hours.
If your pet had contact with a raccoon, call Providence Animal Control at 401.243.6040, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; or the Providence Police Department at 401.272.3121 after hours.
The public is reminded that rabies remains prevalent throughout the state, having been found in all Rhode Island communities except New Shoreham. The most frequently affected wildlife include skunks, raccoons, foxes, woodchucks, and bats; however, any mammal is susceptible to rabies. In Rhode Island, the virus has also been found in domestic cats, horses, and fisher cats. Residents should continue to guard against exposure to rabies by: vaccinating pets and not allowing them to wander unsupervised, avoiding contact with wildlife, avoiding contact with and not feeding stray or free-roaming domestic animals, securing garbage, bat-proofing their homes, and not leaving pet food outside. According to Rhode Island law, pet dogs, cats and ferrets must have up-to-date vaccinations against rabies. Only a licensed veterinarian can administer the vaccine.
All animal bites should be reported to the local animal control officer. And wild animals that act aggressively or are noticeably sick should be reported to DEM's Division of Law Enforcement at 401.222.3070. For more information on rabies, visit www.dem.ri.gov.
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