Canton raccoon tests positive for rabies, Public Health Department warns public to be wary of wildlife
Monday, November 19, 2012 - 2:32 pm

CANTON -- The St. Lawrence County Public Health Department is warning the public to still be aware of rabies in wildlife as a raccoon has tested positive for rabies in the Town of Canton.

The raccoon, reportedly acting sickly and aggressive, was submitted to the state lab for rabies testing. The test was positive for rabies.

This is the fifth positive raccoon in the county this year.

Pet owners are reminded to keep animals vaccinations against rabies up to date and to avoid contact with stray dogs, cats, or wildlife.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. It kills almost any mammal or human that contracts it. Rabies can occur at any time during the year.

To protect yourself and your family against rabies, the health department recommends:

• Do not feed wild animals. You may be putting your family in danger.

• Warn your children to stay away from wild or stray animals.

• Do not keep wildlife as pets. It is against the law.

• Do not trap and transport wild animals to a new location. It’s illegal and you could be spreading diseases.

• Take measures to 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 attics, roofs and eaves. You may want to contact a professional for advice.

Questions about rabies or possible exposures may be called into the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department at 386-2325.