First Raccoon Rabies Case Reported on Cape Cod in 8 Years

BARNSTABLE – Barnstable County Health officials reported a rabies-positive racoon on Cape Cod Thursday.

The raccoon is the first known case of non-bat rabies on Cape in eight years. 

The case was discovered through routine testing following a sick animal call in Hyannis. 

The Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment said that it is working closely with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Town of Barnstable to coordinate a targeted trap, vaccinate and release program. 

Officials said that they will perform sampling on wild animals that are sick, injured or found dead to check for rabies in response to the incident. 

The county reminds the public to keep themselves, children and pets away from wild and stray animals, and to keep pets’ rabies vaccines up-to-date. 

They also reminded the public that the capture and relocation of wild animals is illegal and can cause harm to the animal, as well as spread disease. 

County officials said that several wild animals relocated to Cape Cod in the past were identified as being infected with rabies. 

Any residents who see an animal behaving strangely are urged by county officials to call their local animal control officer.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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