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Posted on: September 24, 2018

Rabies Alert - Three wild animals in Mt. Lebanon have tested positive for the virus since July.


Rabies Alert

Three wild animals in Mt. Lebanon have tested positive for the virus since July. Here are some tips to ensure you and your animals are not harmed.

Wild animals live among us— raccoons, coyotes, skunks, bats,  foxes and ground hogs—and they all are susceptible to the rabies virus, which they contract from bites by other animals.  We don’t want to alarm you, but we want you to be careful. Since July, three wild animals in Mt. Lebanon have been tested  by  the County Health Department and confirmed as positive for rabies. The first incident involved a ground hog on Sleepy Hollow Road. The next two incidents, both involving raccoons, were on Shadowlawn Avenue, and just last week, on Racine Avenue, where two dogs killed a raccoon that later was determined to have the virus.

The rabid animals were euthanized.

In a proactive effort, Allegheny County drops raccoon vaccine bait (which does not harm people or pets) each summer. Most Mt. Lebanon residents have their domestic vaccinated (which protects them from rabies, if attacked).  And we are fortunate to have an experienced South Hills Cooperative Animal Control (SHCAC) unit that can quickly  deal with reports of animals wild animals that appear sick, disoriented or vicious.  Still, please take precautions.  Here are a few tips that might keep unwanted, possibly sick animals from foraging near your house, seeking shelter inside it or harming people or pets.

  • Stay away from wild animals, period. Do not touch them. Do not feed them.  Do not leave food sources anywhere near you house that will attract them.

  • Cover your trash cans securely.  Of course wild animals are hungry.

  • Secure your house and its surroundings, so a raccoon or other small animal does not make it their home.  Cap your chimney. Make sure your sheds are not easily accessible to animals. Keep your woodpile away from the house. Don’t leave your basement doors open. Check for any opening in your brick, stone or cinder block that an animal looking for food or shelter could squeeze through. Install pet doors that you can lock at night or that will open only when activated by a special collar.

  • Be sure your pets’ vaccinations are up to date.  Don’t  allow pets to roam unattended.  If your dog or cat has an encounter with a wild animal or has a bite you can’t explain, have your pet examined by a veterinarian, even if it has been vaccinated.

  • It is normal to see a raccoon or groundhog by day, even though they are considered nocturnal animals. But if you see a raccoon or other wild animal that is very lethargic, aggressive, staggering or foaming at the mouth—or if you find an unwanted animal in your house—call 911 immediately.  Officers will respond and remove the animal.  And if  it is in your house but they can’t find it, they will bait a trap and return when the animal is caught.

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