TAVARES — Donna Gregory, administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Lake County, issued a rabies alert on May 14 for the Clermont area of Lake County, in response to a raccoon which tested positive for rabies on May 10. As a result, the Animal Services Division has been required to temporarily suspend the use of the night-drop kennels that residents can use to give up pets for adoption. The suspension will be effective through July 13, which is 60 days from the date of issuance.
“If we have no knowledge of the area where the dropped-off animal came from, we must assume the animal came from a rabies-exposed area,” said Cyndi Nason, director of Lake County Animal Services. “We want people to personally come into our facility with their animals so we can avoid any undesired consequences for our personnel, citizens and other healthy animals.”
All residents and visitors in Lake County should be aware that rabies is present in the wild-animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. Alerts are designed to increase awareness to the public, but they should not give a false sense of security to areas that have not been named as under an alert.
The center of the rabies alert is in the Clermont area and includes the following area boundaries in Lake County:
• North boundary at State Road 50
• South boundary at Florida Boys Ranch Road
• East boundary at Lakeshore Drive
• West boundary at State Road 33
For more information about rabies, visit Lake County Animal Services online at www.lakecountyfl.gov/departments/conservation_and_compliance/animal_services/rabies.aspx or the Florida Department of Health at www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/medicine/rabies/rabies-index.html; or call the Florida Department of Health in Lake County at 352-253-6130 or Lake County Animal Services at 352-343-9668.