A couple who brought their pet baby raccoon into a South Boulevard pet store this past weekend may have unknowingly exposed themselves and other customers at the store to rabies.
Mecklenburg County officials said late Tuesday that the couple has been found and voluntarily surrendered the raccoon to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Animal Care & Control division.
The Mecklenburg County Public Health Department released a statement earlier Tuesday saying they were searching for the couple, along with anyone who came into the store and had direct contact with the baby raccoon.
“In North Carolina, raccoons are major reservoirs for rabies, a deadly viral infection that can be spread by the saliva or scratch of an animal that may or may not appear to be ill,” said a statement from Rebecca Carter, public information officer for the health department. “People who had direct contact with the baby raccoon may need shots for exposure to rabies.”
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If you had direct contact with the baby raccoon, please call the county health department “immediately” at 704-614-6512 during normal business hours, or 704-432-0871 after hours or on weekends.
It is illegal to keep native mammals or birds in North Carolina without a permit, say health department officials.
For more information, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service information services.