Anne Arundel health officials investigate rabid raccoon carcass left at animal control office
Someone left a dead raccoon at the Anne Arundel County Animal Care and Control office in Millersville this week, and county health officials want to know who.
Turns out the raccoon had rabies.
“Preventive treatment might be required for anyone who handled, fed or was attacked by the surrendered raccoon,” health department spokeswoman Elin Jones said in a prepared statement released Thursday.
The dead raccoon was discovered Tuesday morning in a cardboard box at the rear of the Animal Control and Care building at 411 Maxwell Frye Road. It tested positive for rabies.
Security cameras at the building captured an image of a white man wearing a baseball cap. He can be seen dropping off the box and was driving what appeared to be a 2000 Nissan Frontier King Cab pickup truck.
Rabies is spread by the bite or scratch of an infected animal, such as a raccoon, cat, fox, groundhog or bat. It is also spread when the infected animal’s saliva comes in contact with the eyes, nose, mouth or open cut of a person or another animal.
In addition to treatment for anyone who came in contact with the raccoon, any domestic animal that had contact might need care.
Contact 410-222-7256 weekdays or 443-481-3140 after business hours for more information.
There have been 10 confirmed cases of rabies so far this year in Anne Arundel County, compared to eight last year and 15 in 2016, Jones said. This year, the cases spread across the county.
Rabies is a fatal disease and preventive treatment (vaccines) must be started as soon as possible.
The Department of Health advises county residents not to feed wild or stray animals or leave food dishes outside. Pet owners should also keep their animals’ rabies vaccinations current.
For information about rabies, visit www.cdc.gov/rabies. To get a free fact sheet on rabies, call 410-222-7256.