LEESBURG — The Florida Department of Health in Lake County has issued a rabies alert for the Leesburg area in response to a raccoon that tested positive for rabies on Wednesday, Jan. 15.
As a result, the Animal Services Division is required to temporarily suspend the use of the night-drop kennels.
“Residents sometimes use the kennels to drop off strays or give up pets for adoption after regular business hours,” said Cyndi Nason, division manager, Lake County Animal Services.
Due to the public safety threat, stray animals left in the night-drop that are not reclaimed will be euthanized beginning Thursday, Jan. 16 in accordance with Health Department Rabies Alert guidelines.
Lake County Animal Services asks that the public only drop off animals during regular hours, which are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., so they can identify where the animal originated and its vaccination status. All animals in the shelter must be current on their rabies vaccine to be adopted.
The rabies alert will last 60 days. The center of the alert is in the Leesburg area and includes the following boundaries in Lake County:
• North boundary Lake Griffin
• South boundary Lake Harris
• East boundary Lake Griffin-Lake Harris 441 Connector
• West boundary Canal Street
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. The public is asked to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in Lake County.
People who have been bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seek medical attention and report the injury to the Florida Department of Health in Lake County at 352-253-6130.
Keep your pets under direct supervision to prevent them from coming in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten, seek veterinary assistance immediately and contact Lake County Animal Services at 352-343-9688. Pet owners should be sure their dogs and cats are up-to-date with their rabies vaccination.
For more information on rabies, visit www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/rabies/index.html, contact the Florida Department of Health in Lake County at 352-253-6130 or call Lake County Animal Services at 352-343-9688.