Upson County Animal Control Director Adrian C. Releford has issued a warning to county residents, particularly those in the area of Hickmon Fork Road, Roland Road, and Turkey Creek Road, to stay away from raccoons, keep their pets away from raccoons, and make sure their pets are up-to-date on their vaccinations.
In a press release issues Tuesday morning, Releford stated that on September 20, 2015, a resident on Hickmon Fork Road encountered a raccoon and was bitten on the ankle. The raccoon escaped into the woods and as of October 5, 2015, has not been recovered. As a precaution anytime someone comes in contact with a known carrier of rabies, the resident was started on rabies shots. It was only a few months ago that a raccoon on Harrell Road was killed by dogs and testing of the raccoon came back positive for rabies.
Releford said there are steps the public can take to protect themselves and their families.
“Don’t approach any wildlife, no matter how cute or approachable they may seem,” he stated. “It is very important that you stress the importance of this to any small children in your household.
“Don’t keep pet food bowls full outside because this will entice any animal looking for nourishment, like raccoons, which you normally only see at night.
“If you have pets that roam and stay missing for days at a time, it’s highly recommended that you don’t allow this type of behavior, but be sure to monitor their behavior if they happen to show up back at your home acting strange.
“Once again, continue to vaccinate your pets annually and if you spot any suspicious animals, don’t hesitate to call 911 or Animal Control,” Releford said. “We don’t deal specifically with wild animals, but we will make every attempt to correct the situation before the public is affected. Upson County Animal Control would like to thank everyone for their patience and cooperation during this incident.
For more information, contact Upson County Animal Control at 706-647-5586.
Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @LarryStanford7.