April 19, 2024
Media Contact: Julie Thacker, Julie.Thacker@vdh.virginia.gov

Raccoon Tests Positive for Rabies in Emporia

PETERSBURG, Va. – On April 14, 2024, a raccoon was discovered on a property on East Lane Drive in Emporia. A domestic dog was outside when the raccoon was found. The raccoon has since tested positive for rabies, and the dog owner has been notified.

“Please notify public health officials or animal control immediately if you live near East Lane Drive and think that you or your pet(s) had contact with the infected raccoon. The community’s safety is our priority. Make sure your pets are vaccinated, especially against rabies, “said Crater District Health Departments Director Alton Hart, Jr., MD, MPH.

“Rabies is a preventable disease. We encourage all pet owners to vaccinate their animals to protect them and the community,” shares Toinette Waldon, Crater Health District environmental health manager.

The health department 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 a stray and/or suspicious animal, please contact the Emporia Animal Control at (434) 634-2121. If you have concerns about exposure to rabies, contact your healthcare provider immediately. For more information on protecting your family from rabies, call 804-863-1652 or visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-epidemiology/rabies-control/ or www.cdc.gov/rabies/.