Hillsborough County health officials are alerting a South Tampa neighborhood after a rabid raccoon attacked a family dog.

The health department says the incident occurred in the area of W. Thornton Ave Tampa 33611 in the Ballast Point area.

The unprovoked raccoon can out of a tree and attacked the vaccinated family pet. The raccoon was killed by the owner and rabies was detected during testing of the raccoon.

This raccoon marks the 10th animal to test positive for rabies in Hillsborough County this year.

Image/SHAWSHANK61 via pixabay

Health officials offer the following suggestions to protect your pets and family:

  • Make sure that your pets are properly vaccinated for rabies. Florida law requires this.
  • Stay away from all unknown animals to include domestic (dogs & cats) strays, farm livestock and free-roaming (raccoons, foxes, skunks, bats) wildlife.
  • Keep your pets on your property. Do not allow pets to roam free without supervision.
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals by leaving pet food outside, or garbage cans open.
  • If you think you were bitten or scratched by the animal described above please contact the Health Department at the number listed below.
  • For additional information and to report animal bites contact:

Florida Department of Health-Hillsborough Environmental Health Services at 813-307-8059

Hillsborough County requires all domestic animals to be vaccinated for rabies and registered with current tag. For additional information contact Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center at 813-744-5660.