SPRING HILL — A raccoon that was involved in a fight with two dogs, then was killed by another, has tested positive for rabies, the Hernando County Health Department reported Wednesday.
The raccoon was captured in the vicinity of Kirkland Avenue in Spring Hill and taken to Hernando County Animal Services after it fought two dogs. While at Animal Services, the raccoon escaped from its cage and was killed by a dog, which the raccoon had attacked through the dog's cage bars.
All of the dogs' owners have been contacted and told of the positive lab results, the Health Department said.
If pets have current vaccine records, owners are asked to quarantine the animals for 45 days at their home.
If not, euthanasia or a six-month quarantine at Animal Services or a veterinarian's office is required.
Hernando County has been under a rabies alert for several years. Dating to 2003, there has been a series of positive rabies tests resulting mostly from wild raccoons and foxes.
Most recently, on April 3, the Health Department got positive rabies results on a cat that bit or scratched five people in the area of Abeline Road and Deltona Boulevard in Spring Hill.