WENDELL — Wake County health officials are warning residents in an area in Wendell to protect their pets after rabies was confirmed in a raccoon Tuesday.
The county Environmental Services Department said the state laboratory had confirmed rabies in the raccoon that county animal control officers captured in the area of Wood Green Drive and Deer Lake Trail.
The raccoon had contact with a dog whose owners had not had it vaccinated for rabies, Community Health Director Sue Lynn Ledford said.
The dog, which was not vaccinated against the disease, was going to be destroyed, officials said.
Owners have a choice of having an animal put down or paying to have it quarantined for six months.
The law requires pet owners to have their animals vaccinated for rabies, and county Environmental Services Director Joseph Threadcraft said obeying that law is critical in controlling rabies.
The county gave several guidelines for pet owners to protect their animals, including getting a booster vaccination against rabies for outdoor animals and not leaving trash or food outside if it is not in a container with a tight lid.