Raccoons are cute as can be, but sadly they are also the number one wild animal that carries Rabies in most areas of the east coast. Just the other night I pulled into my driveway and noticed what I thought was my neighbor’s cat sitting next to my garage. I hopped out of my car and started to approach the kitty when I realized that it was not a cat at all. It was a raccoon! It looked startled by my presence, but was non-aggressive. Just to be safe, I quickly ran back to my car and jumped back in. Shining the lights on the critter sent him running back towards the woods.
My encounter did make me think of what my outdoor dogs would do if the raccoon happened to go in the backyard instead of the front yard. I am sure that they would be in full attack mode, which would be a dangerous move. In the end, I am certain that my large dogs would win the battle, but there is a huge chance that they could encounter Rabies during their fight.
Pet owners should always make sure that their pets are vaccinated against rabies. Household pets that are bitten or scratched by wildlife that are not vaccinated are usually quarantined for a certain amount of time. Unfortunately, if a wild raccoon or other animal tests positive for Rabies, a pet that has not been vaccinated might be euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.
Raccoons are not animals that should be handled by your average person. Raccoon bites and scratches can cause deadly consequences for pets and humans alike. You should always call a wildlife control specialist to help you remove unwanted raccoons from your home or business.