AUSTIN, Texas - A raccoon has tested positive for rabies in downtown Austin.
Austin Animal Services and Austin Public Health are asking the community to take precautions with wildlife after a raccoon killed in downtown tested positive for the rabies virus.
According to the city, an Animal Protection Officer responded to a call at the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown around 6:30 a.m. to reports that a dog attacked and killed a raccoon.
The raccoon in question was picked up and submitted for rabies testing with the Texas Department of State Health Services, as per standard protocol, says the city. The raccoon has since tested positive for the virus.
The city says that the pet owner, an evacuee from Hurricane Laura, has been contacted and that animal protection officers are now canvassing the area to find out if other people or pets have had contact with the raccoon, or if any other wildlife has been seen acting in an unusual manner, such as turning in circles, twitching or foaming at the mouth.
If a person or pet is bitten by a wild animal, Animal Protection should be called immediately by dialing 3-1-1 or 512-974-5000 and a physician or veterinarian should be contacted immediately.
Animal Services offers the following tips to protect pets and family from exposure to wild animals:
- Vaccinate dogs and cats as well as livestock
- Restrain pets and do not allow them to roam freely in public
- Avoid contact with wild animals and unknown dogs and cats
- Do not touch sick or injured animals
If a pet is bitten, scratched, or in a fight with any animal, owners are instructed to call 3-1-1 or 512-974-5000. Any contact with these high-risk wild animals or any sign of sick or dead wildlife should also be reported.
For more information on rabies protection, click here.