July 23, 2015

(Petersburg, Va.)-The Crater Health District received confirmation that a raccoon collected from the 3000 block of Sherwood Lane in Hopewell tested positive for rabies. Hopewell Health Department and Hopewell Animal Control issued a Rabies Information Alert on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. They advise pet owners in this area, and throughout the city, to check shot records for their pets to ensure that their rabies shots are up to date.

“Any resident or visitor to the Sherwood Lane area who may have been exposed or has pets that may have been exposed to this raccoon or any other wild animal, please immediately notify public health officials or animal control,” said Alton Hart, Jr., MD, MPH, Director, Crater District Health Departments.

“This is the fifth positive rabies case found in the Crater Health District to date this year. In Prince George County, there have been three positive rabies cases found in the Merchant Hope Road area of the county in the last twelve months. Rabies is a serious and life-threatening disease. It can be prevented with vaccination, but once symptoms begin, there is no cure,” said Tim Jones, Environmental Health Manager, Crater Health District.

The Health District strongly advises that people take the following steps to prevent families and pets from being exposed to rabies:

  • Vaccinate all cats, dogs and ferrets against rabies and keep them up to date.
  • Avoid contact with wild animals or stray cats and dogs.
  • Do not feed wild animals or stray cats and dogs.
  • Report stray animals to your local animal control agency.
  • Eliminate outdoor food sources around the home.
  • Keep pets confined to your property or walk them on a leash.

To report any other suspicious animal, please contact Hopewell Animal Control at 804-541-2204. Hopewell Animal Hospital will be hosting an emergency rabies clinic at their facility on Monday, July 27, 2015 from 10 am to 4 pm. The cost for rabies vaccination for your pet is $10. Hopewell Animal Hospital is located at 3806 Oaklawn Boulevard, Suite 100, Hopewell, VA 23860.

For more information about rabies, or how to protect your family visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/LHD/crater/ or call 804-863-1652.