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Raccoon Killed On Barrows Drive Tests Positive For Rabies

Homeowner calls police after seeing the animal acting strangely in her backyard.


Test results on a raccoon killed in the backyard of a house on Barrows Drive Monday afternoon came back positive for rabies Tuesday, according to Animal Control Officer Renee Young.

A resident of Barrows Drive, which runs between Howland Road and Blueberry Drive, called police late afternoon on Monday after seeing a raccoon in her backyard acting peculiarly. At the house, the police officer saw the raccoon acting aggressively so he shot it and it was taken to the state lab for testing.

Young did not know the last time a rabid animal had been found in East Greenwich. However, she said, “if we have one positive, there’s a good possibility there’s more.”

The homeowner, who was not identified, does not have pets, Young said. If she had, those animals would have been given rabies vaccination booster shots. As for other pets in the neighborhood, Young said the best thing any pet owner can do is to make sure their pets are up to date on their rabies vaccine.

By state law, all dogs, cats, and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies, which can be transmitted to humans through a bite, a scratch, even saliva. Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that can infect all warm-blooded animals including humans.  

“This is a preventable disease,” said Young. She cautioned against trying to befriend wild animals by feeding them.

She said that when a rabid animal dies, the rabies virus dies with it, so “it’s very unlikely that you can catch rabies from a dead animal.”

Young said she picks up dead animals “all the time.” What’s her technique? “I just put on a pair of gloves and use a garbage bag.”

FriendOfEG March 07, 2012 at 11:36 PM
I'm glad that the police got the raccoon before Mr. Gee did. There's just no telling what he might have done with it.
EGfav228 March 08, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Oh geeze, I knew someone would comment about the past "roadkill" article!
DoGood March 09, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Actually I think DPW should just leave it out there for 2 weeks and let other animals feed of it, as they say is their current policy for handling roadkill.
sue lewis March 09, 2012 at 12:18 PM
I cant believe the Head DPW guy even said "It's not my job !" What a nerve, just what does he do all day except define what he isnt going to do !
Spring Street March 09, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Ireland hasn't any cases of rabies. They are extremely careful letting any animals into the country. If one brings their pet there they go into a quarantine facility for 6mos.. Hm going through England is a short cut, but still a 2mo. quarantine In Fla. they use to distribute a biscuit with a rabies vaccine in it so the feral cats,skunks,racoons etc would be immunized. That's the safest way to prevent this dreadful disease.

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