Several dogs at an Ellijay, GA home were exposed to a raccoon that has now tested positive for rabies.

On Sunday, March 14, 2010, a dog brought a live raccoon into a residential yard located on Henry Evans Road off Clear Creek Road in Ellijay. The property owner's Pomeranian-mix adult female dog began to attack the raccoon and suffered minor injuries. During the attack, another Pomeranian-mix puppy female was bitten above the right eye. The owner of these two dogs killed the raccoon on-site.

The raccoon was submitted for rabies testing on March 17, and county environmental health officials received the rabies-positive results on March 18. The adult female was not currently vaccinated, and the puppy had never received a rabies shot. The owner of the two Pomeranians made the difficult decision to have the dogs euthanized. Animal Control picked up the dogs for euthanasia last Friday, March 19.

The owner of the Pomeranians also has four other small dogs on the premises that were not involved in the attack. These remaining dogs received rabies shots as required by law last Friday.

The dog that initially brought the raccoon onto the Henry Evans Road property was on the loose, but it was immediately trapped and euthanized by Animal Control.

Andrea Wheeler of Gilmer County Environmental Health stated, “It is imperative for your safety and the safety of your animals that you maintain rabies vaccinations in your pets. Also, be cautious of any stray or unfamiliar animals you may encounter.”

For more information about rabies, log onto www.cdc.gov or contact the Gilmer County Environmental Health office at (706) 635-6050.

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