February 25, 2016
Beaumont, Texas: Beaumont Animal Services has been responding to multiple calls for service regarding sick or unnaturally docile acting raccoons in Beaumont’s north and west ends of town. One of the latest was a large, female raccoon that was found sitting in a ditch, next to the student drop off line at Roy Guess Elementary on February 16th.
“Due to the proximity of the school and the number of sick raccoons that have been found in this area, we decided to have a necropsy performed on the raccoon”, stated Director of Animal Control, Matthew Fortenberry. The raccoon was euthanized and a limited necropsy was performed at Beaumont West Animal Care and then sent to the Texas A&M Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station. Testing for the Rabies virus came back “negative” and testing for Canine Distemper came back “highly positive”.
Canine Distemper is a viral disease affecting animals in the canine families as well as other mammals such as the raccoon. It affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems. The disease is most often fatal and those that recover may display permanent neurological damage. Canine Distemper does not pose a threat to human health. Dogs who have not been vaccinated for distemper can become infected if they come in contact with a raccoon with distemper. When raccoons contract the disease, the usually die within two weeks and is the second leading cause of death in raccoons.
Beaumont Animal Services urges anyone seeing a raccoon that appears to be friendly, out in the daytime and or walking slowly or stumbling, to not approach the raccoon and to not feed them. Keep an eye on the raccoon’s location and call the Police Department immediately at 832-1234 and an Animal Services Officer will try to apprehend the animal.
Beaumont Animal Services also urges pet owners to:
- Vaccinate their dogs and cats
- Keep pets away from wildlife
- Avoid leaving pet food outdoors
Beaumont Animal Services
Director of Animal Control
Email: [email protected] or phone: (409) 838-3304