GROVELAND — Chief Jeffrey Gillen wishes to make residents aware of a recent positive test for rabies in a raccoon located in Groveland.
On Monday, Jan. 6, at approximately 6:21 p.m., Groveland Police were dispatched to a Center Street home for a report that a resident had spotted a raccoon that appeared sick. Upon arrival, Groveland Police secured the animal and turned it over to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), which confirmed yesterday that the animal tested positive for rabies.
The raccoon was humanely euthanized.
The resident’s dogs came into contact with the raccoon and have been ordered quarantined out of an abundance of caution, however it does not appear they contracted rabies.
“While we don’t have any reason to believe there is a danger to the community as a result of this infected animal, we thought it was important to make the public aware so that they can take care to protect themselves, their families and their pets,” Chief Gillen said. “Residents should report any encounters with wild animals they think may be of concern, and should never attempt to capture the animal themselves.”
According to the DPH, rabies is a serious disease that affects the brain and spinal cord in mammals, including humans. It is caused by a virus and is almost always fatal. Chief Gillen and the Groveland Police wish to share the following tips from the DPH to help prevent the spread of rabies:
- Teach children to never approach wild animals they don’t know – even if they appear friendly.
- Report any animal that behaves oddly to your local animal control official.
- Enjoy wild animals from a distance. Do not keep wild animals as pets. This is against the law in Massachusetts.
- Make sure your pets are vaccinated against rabies. By law, all dogs, cats and ferrets must be regularly vaccinated against rabies.
- Don’t feed or water your pets outside. Even empty bowls will attract wild and stray animals.
- Keep your pets in a fenced yard or on a leash and do not let them roam freely.
- Keep your garbage securely covered. Open garbage will attract wild or stray animals.
- Keep your chimney capped and repair holes in attics, cellars, and porches to help keep wild animals like bats and raccoons out of your home.
To learn more about rabies, click here.