Columbia County health officials are warning residents to make sure their animals are vaccinated after a rabid raccoon attacked a dog.
The attack occurred this past weekend in a rural area of Harlem off Old Blythe Road, when a homeowner saw the raccoon bite his dog on the mouth, said Andrea Frazier, an environmental health specialist for the Columbia County Health Department.
The homeowner shot and killed the raccoon, and took it and his dog to a McDuffie County veterinarian, Frazier said. After the raccoon tested positive for rabies, the dog was surrendered for euthanasia because it had not been vaccinated, she said.
“We just wanted to get the word out that there was a rabid raccoon,” she said. “People need to be diligent to make sure they get their own pets vaccinated, and keep wild animals away from their pets and their pets’ feeding dishes because rabies is transmitted through saliva.”