Ellijay (GA) – A 3 year old Jack Russell Terrier in Ellijay, Georgia was euthanized this past Saturday, September 8, after being exposed to a raccoon that has now tested positive for rabies.

The dog was exposed at its home on Craigtown Road when it fought the raccoon on Saturday, September 1.

Gilmer County Environmental Health was notified of the incident by VCA Appalachian Animal Hospital on Wednesday, September 5, and they shipped the raccoon head to the Georgia State Laboratory for rabies testing on Thursday, September 6. On Friday, September 7, the test results were reported as positive for rabies.

The dog was not current on its rabies vaccinations; therefore, the decision was made to have it euthanized.

No human exposure occurred.

Health officials continue to urge residents to protect themselves and their animals from rabies by maintaining vaccinations in their pets, and they warn the public against handling any unfamiliar animals, especially those displaying sickly or unusual behavior.

For more information about rabies and its prevention, contact Gilmer County Environmental Health at (706) 635-6050 or log onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov.

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