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Here's why you should vaccinate your pet: Lee County dog survives scrap with rabid raccoon

Here's why you should vaccinate your pet: Lee County dog survives scrap with rabid raccoon

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A Labrador retriever named Maddy is alive and well after killing a rabid raccoon in her owner’s yard on in Lee County on Sunday. That’s because she was up-to-date on her rabies vaccination.

Maddy suffered superficial facial injuries after the confrontation with the raccoon at the 400 block of Lee Road 2049.

A local veterinarian treated the dog shortly after the event. Her owner presented the raccoon for rabies testing, which came back positive by the state lab, according to the Animal Health Center in Opelika.

There were five potential human exposures in this case, and all have been addressed and are being treated as needed, confirmed Dr. Homer Bruce, the Lee County Rabies Officer, via phone Friday. The raccoon did not bite any humans.

“It’s so important to keep up-to-date on your pet’s rabies vaccination to protect your pets, which helps protect humans from exposure through their pets,” Homer said.

Alabama Law requires all dogs, cats and ferrets to be vaccinated at three months of age and annually thereafter, unless they receive a 3-year vaccine. Homer says the first rabies vaccination is only good for one year regardless of which vaccine your pet gets.

“Pet rabies vaccinations provide a buffer between wildlife and humans,” Homer said. “It’s very important to get them started early, and then they get them annually after unless they get a 3-year shot.”

Homer asks owners to check their pet’s rabies vaccination status. If you cannot determine your pet’s status, contact your veterinarian.

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