DeKALB COUNTY, Ga. – A raccoon captured on Flat Shoals Road tested positive for rabies last week, making it the eleventh rabid animal found in DeKalb County in 2018.

Rabid raccoons have been reported in six cities throughout the county – including Dunwoody, Decatur, Tucker, Stone Mountain, Avondale Estates and Lithonia, according a release filed on Aug. 30 from DeKalb County.

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While animal control officials said rabies cases are not unusual, pet owners should make sure their animals are vaccinated every year and register them with Dekalb County Animal Control.

Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by an animal should seek medical attention immediately, animal control officials said. Pet owners are also advised to watch their animals closely for any unusual behavior and contact DeKalb Animal Control.

Rabies is a disease that affects the brain. It is usually passed among animals but can be passed to people. The virus is usually spread through the saliva of the infected animal.

Unvaccinated dogs, cats and ferrets exposed to a rabid animal should be euthanized immediately, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tips to protect pets from rabies

  • Make sure pet vaccinations are up to date.

  • Get rid of outdoor feeding areas and block off access to garbage cans.

    Avoid contact with strange or wild animals.

    See a doctor immediately if you or your animal is bitten by a wild animal.

    Watch pets for abnormal behavior.

    Spay or neuter your pets to reduce the number of unwanted pets that might not get vaccinated.

    Wild animal trapping only occurs if a domestic pet or person has been bitten or scratched, so make sure to contact animal control immediately after an incident.