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Raccoon with rabies turns up in Lockport bar

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Posted at 11:49 AM, Jun 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-08 11:49:54-04

The Niagara County Department of Health is asking anyone who made contact with a baby raccoon inside Mr. Quiggleys Saloon on West Avenue in Lockport on Friday, June 2nd to reach out to them immediately.

Authorities say not only did someone bring the animal inside the establishment but several individuals have been
reported as having handled and/or petted the animal.

Subsequent investigation by the Department found that the animal was one of 13 baby raccoons found on Donner Road in the Town of Pendleton. Twelve raccoons were put down and sampled for rabies along with one dead baby raccoon found at the same location.

Health officials say that people who have had contact with animals presumed to be rabid require post-exposure treatment.

Rabies affects the central nervous system causing paralysis and ultimately death in infected animals. Signs of
rabies virus infection in animals include changes in behavior such as aggression, agitation and excessive salivation.  It is possible for an animal to shed the virus before these symptoms are visible. This means an animal can act completely normal and healthy for a few days with an active rabies virus. Raccoons have been documented as rabies carriers in Niagara County.

Here are some tips for preventing rabies:
• Vaccinate dogs, cats, ferrets and selected livestock for rabies and keep vaccinations up-to-date. Contact your
veterinarian today for details. You can also contact the Niagara County Department of Health for their free
rabies clinic schedule, or go online at www.niagaracounty.com/health.
• Keep pets under direct supervision in a yard or on a leash to minimize contact with wild animals.
• Enjoy wildlife such as skunks, bats, raccoons and foxes from a safe distance.
• Do not handle, feed or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or pet food.
• Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home. Do not try to nurse sick or injured animals – call a
licensed wildlife rehabilitator, nuisance wildlife control officer, or animal control officer for assistance.
• Teach children to never approach unfamiliar dogs, cats or wildlife even if they appear friendly.
• Report animals acting strangely to your local dog or animal control officer.
• If an animal inflicts a bite or scratch, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water for 15 minutes then call
your health care provider and your local health department.
• Use caution with a pet you suspect may have been in a fight with a wild animal. Handle with gloves and
contact a veterinarian and your local health department.