AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The Georgia Department of Public Health is informing residents to be cautious after a rabid raccoon was observed on November 10, in a populated area near Hickory Drive and North Belair Road in Columbia County.

The raccoon appeared sick and unable to move, but did not have contact with humans or pets.

The Columbia County Health Department Environmental Health Section was notified and sent the raccoon to the Georgia Public Health Laboratory in Decatur, GA, where it was confirmed the raccoon was positive for rabies.

The Columbia County Health Department Environmental Health Section is asking residents to make sure make sure pets are vaccinated against rabies and to avoid all contact with wild animals.

They also have the following recommendations:

  • Make sure your dogs and cats are currently vaccinated against rabies.
  • Do not let your pets roam free. They are more likely to have contact with a rabid wild animal.
  • Avoid feeding your animals outside. This draws stray and wild animals to your doorstep.
  • Teach your children not to approach wild animals and animals they don’t know.

“In addition, report any contact of humans and domestic animals with wild animals to Columbia County Health Department Environmental Health Section office at 706-868-3330 or Columbia County Animal Services at 311.”