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Rabid Raccoon Tangles with Dog in Fort Hunt Neighborhood

Fairfax County advises vaccinating your pets against rabies and keeping inoculations current.

An Animal Control officer responded last week to a call about a raccoon (not this one!) fighting with a dog. Patch file photo
An Animal Control officer responded last week to a call about a raccoon (not this one!) fighting with a dog. Patch file photo

A raccoon and a dog got into a fight last week in Fort Hunt and it turns out the raccoon tested positive for rabies. Rabies is nearly always fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The incident took place last Thursday night in the 2500 block of Culpeper Road, according to police.

An Animal Control officer was called at about 7:17 p.m. for a report of a raccoon fighting with a dog. 

The officer was able to capture and euthanize the raccoon, which subsequently tested positive for rabies. The dog was current on its rabies vaccination.

Here are some rabies prevention tips from Fairfax County:

Reduce your risk of exposure to the rabies virus

  • Vaccinate your pets against rabies and keep inoculations current.
  • State law and County ordinance require dogs and cats four months of age and older to be inoculated.
  • Vaccine must be administered every one to three years, depending on the type used and the age of the animal.
  • The Animal Services Division holds low-cost rabies clinics for dogs and cats throughout the year. For more information on this, call the Animal Shelter at 703-830-1100.
  • Warn children to keep away from wildlife and encourage them to report any physical contact with animals.
  • Minimize contact between pets and wildlife, especially at night. Walk pets on a leash. Feed cats and dogs inside.
  • Eliminate possible sources of food for wildlife from your yard and keep trash can lids tightly closed.
  • Do not keep wild animals as pets. Even baby skunks and raccoons can carry the rabies virus.
Here are some warning signs to tell if an animal has rabies or not, from the Centers for Disease Control.

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