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Aug 1, 2023

Polk County has third confirmed case of rabies in 2023

Media Contact: Alicia Manautou, PIO

The third case of rabies in 2023 has been confirmed in Polk County.

On July 26, 2023, a family dog in the Green Road area of unincorporated Lakeland fought with an aggressive raccoon. When the raccoon would not let go of the dog, the dog's owner shot and killed the raccoon. The family contacted PCSO Animal Control, and an officer took possession of the raccoon. Its carcass was sent to Tampa for testing.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Section received the test results from the state laboratory in Tampa on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, which showed the raccoon was positive for the deadly virus.

"Thankfully, this dog's injuries were only minor. It was given a rabies vaccination following the incident, and will have to be quarantined to make sure it is not infected. Please, if you find a wild animal in distress, appearing sick, or acting aggressive, stay away from it and contact Animal Control immediately." - Grady Judd, Sheriff