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Rabid Racoon Discovered in North Lakeland Area

Rabid raccoon discovered in north Lakeland area

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Section confirmed today, Wednesday, June 21st, that a deceased raccoon tested positive for rabies in Polk County.

On Monday, June 19, 2017, a resident on Gibson Shores Drive (south of West Daughtery Road, north of Lake Gibson) heard his pet cat screeching out on the patio and then his dogs started barking. The resident opened the sliding glass door to find his cat severely injured, then his dog ran out of the door and chased a raccoon from the patio and attacked it. The raccoon was ultimately dispatched by the homeowner. The cat was taken to the veterinarian’s office where it was euthanized due to the severity of its injuries.

Animal Control responded and impounded the raccoon for testing. The State Laboratory reported the raccoon as being positive for rabies on 06/21/17. The dog was not currently vaccinated and was put on a 180 day quarantine. The dog received a rabies booster vaccine on 6/19/17 after the attack. The dog owner was issued a citation for not having a valid tag when the quarantine was issued.

This is the 2nd positive rabies case for Polk County this year, The first involved a rabid bat and was off Carla Circle in Southwest Lakeland on May 6, 2017.

“This is an important reminder to make sure your pets are up-to-date on their vaccines.” Grady Judd, Sheriff

Residents are reminded that bats and raccoons are among the mammals considered to be high risk species or “rabies vector species” (RVS).  Please do not approach any animal that is acting in an unusual or suspicious manner. Make sure all pets are properly vaccinated.

For more information on Rabies, please visit:


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