GLOCESTER – The Glocester Police Department warned residents this week to keep an eye on children and pets outdoors after a raccoon reportedly attacked four people on Sunday, May 8.
The attack took place in the area of George Allen Road/Lost Acres Drive. The animal was captured and taken to the Rhode Island Department of Health for rabies testing.
On Tuesday, May 10 RIDOH spokesman Joseph Wendelken confirmed that the raccoon tested positive.
“We are coordinating post-exposure vaccination for those people,” Wendelken said.
Anyone who sees wildlife in the area that appears to be sick or acting strange, is asked to call the department at (401) 568-2533, or the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management dispatch at (401) 222-3070.
Residents are also advised to keep an eye on pets and children when they are outside, and remove any food/water that may have been left out.
Wendelken also shared the following guidance from RIDOH:
- Vaccinate pets
- Avoid contact with wildlife and strays
- Wear gloves to tend pets with wounds of unknown origin, or immediately after encounters have occurred between the pet and either stray animals or wildlife
- Contain garbage to prevent attracting animals and animal proof your homes.
If You are Bitten or Scratched by an Animal
- Wash all wounds and the area around the wound thoroughly with soap and water. Washing for 5-10 minutes can destroy as much as 90% of the rabies virus.
- Contact your doctor or local hospital emergency room.
- Call the Department of Health and the animal control officer at the police department to report the incident. Provide the authorities with an accurate description of the animal, including distinctive markings, not just color and breed.
- Capture and isolate the animal if possible, but do not risk further injury to yourself or a pet if the animal is dangerous.
- Keep children away from all animals involved.
If Your Pet is Bitten or Scratched by another Animal
- Try to find out what type of animal bit or scratched your pet. Do not touch the attacking animal.
- Wear rubber gloves and a hose to wash your pet’s wounds. Do not touch your pet with bare hands. There may be saliva from the rabid animal still on your pet.
- Call your pet’s veterinarian immediately, even if the wound is superficial.
- Call the animal control officer at the police department and the Department of Health
NRI NOW is seeking more information about the attack and status of the victims from Glocester police, but as of Tuesday afternoon had received no response.