SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A raccoon in the Vernonburg Windsor Forest area of Savannah has tested positive for rabies. 

According to the Chatham County Health Department’s Environmental Health Office, the raccoon was picked up by Chatham County Animal Services for testing after the animal attacked two family dogs on a residential property in south Savannah.

According to the department, the attacked dogs are current on their rabies vaccinations, and no humans were exposed to the infected racoon.

The Chatham County Health Department’s Environmental Health office is reminding all residents to avoid contact with wild animals and ensure pets are properly vaccinated against rabies.

Several species of wild animals in the Savannah area can carry rabies, including raccoons, foxes, and bats. Rabies is a potentially deadly virus that is primarily spread by infected animals.

Symptoms of rabies in animals include a change in behavior, biting, aggression, showing no fear of natural enemies (such as humans), foaming at the mouth, and paralysis.

The department offers the following tips that can protect you and your family from rabies:

-Avoid contact with animals you don’t know.  

-Make sure your pets receive the proper immunizations.

-Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or by leaving pet food out at night.  

-Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home. 

-Do not try to nurse sick animals to health. Call animal control or a properly licensed animal rescue agency for assistance.  

-Teach children to never handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.

If an animal ever bites you, seek medical care immediately and contact Chatham County Animal Services at 912- 652-6575 and the Chatham County Environmental Health office at 912-356-2160.