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Officials warn of several stray animals in Rose Ridge Dr. /Hwy. 382 arearaccoon

Two dogs on Rose Ridge Drive near Highway 382 in Ellijay were exposed on June 6 to a raccoon that was later confirmed as positive for rabies, according to Andrea Wheeler of Gilmer County Environmental Health. Neither dog was currently vaccinated against rabies, so both dogs were subsequently euthanized.

There was no human exposure to the raccoon.

It was reported that there are several stray dogs and cats in the Rose Ridge Drive/ Highway 382 vicinity; therefore, officials urge residents to be sure that their pets are currently vaccinated against rabies and that they report stray animals to Gilmer County Animal Control.

Ms. Wheeler added, “If a wild or biting animal has to be killed, do not hit or shoot the animal in the head because that could make it difficult to test the animal for rabies. Also, if the biting animal in question is a cat or a dog, contact environmental health or animal control for quarantine procedures. Wildlife cannot be quarantined, but cats and dogs can, so please do not euthanize them until we have had a chance to evaluate the situation.”

Health officials continue to urge the public to avoid unfamiliar animals and to maintain rabies vaccinations in all pets and livestock.

For more information about rabies, call the Gilmer County Environmental Health Department at (706) 635-6050, or log onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at

Persons who may be exposed to rabies may also call Georgia Poison Control at 1-800 - 222-1222 if other local resources cannot be reached.