Rabid raccoon killed in south Starr’s Mill area
A rabid raccoon found March 24 in southern Fayette County off Padgett Road has the county’s Animal Control department asking that residents be aware of the unusual behavior and to have their outside pets vaccinated for rabies.
Animal Control Director Frederick Sisson on Friday said a raccoon was reported on March 24 by a resident on Lone Oak Drive off Padgett Road. That’s directly south of the intersection of Ga. highways 85 and 74 in the Starr’s Mill area.
The call came in to the 911 center at approximately 10 p.m. after the resident saw the animal acting disoriented and digging in the ground, Sisson said. A deputy was dispatched, located the raccoon and shot it as a precautionary measure, Sisson added.
A subsequent call from the state epidemiology lab confirmed the following day that the raccoon had tested positive for rabies.
Sisson said the last time the county saw an occurrence of rabies was with a fox in the Tyrone area more than three years ago. Even so, that does not mean that residents should not be observant and aware of the unusual behavior of wild, or even domesticated animals.
“Seeing a wild animal in the daytime doesn’t mean it has rabies as long as the animal is not staggering, screaming or biting at things. Sometimes distemper can be mistaken for rabies,” Sisson said.
For pets that spend time outdoors, have them vaccinated for rabies, Sisson stressed.