Rabid or not, keep raccoons at a distance

With the arrival of spring and warmer weather comes the emergence of raccoons in and around Marietta.

While cases of rabies spread by these animals are rare, we still urge caution around these wild animals that are now common in local neighborhoods, especially at night.

The raccoons may look cute to some people, living up to their image as “masked bandits.” Raccoons can be a real nuisance. Just ask the folks at Crown of Life Evangelical Church in Marietta. Recently, they found a raccoon in a closet in the church!

Raccoon sightings at this time of year aren’t unusual. They’re getting active after the winter and looking for a springtime treat. Often, they can find a filling meal in your trash can, or in trash bags they can cut through easily with their claws. So, one way to keep the animals at bay is to not allow access to food. Experts say invest in a better trash can and feed your pets inside, instead of outside. And keep any outside doors closed to keep out the “masked bandits.”

We urge a cautious approach with these animals. If they’re passive, it may indicate a problem. If they’re aggressive, it may indicate another problem.

Bottom line: Raccoons are wild animals. They are adept at finding food. Any household pet or any human standing in their way could be in danger.

So, while rabies might not be a concern with raccoons, since there have been no reports of a rabies case for several years, we just urge everyone to be careful around raccoons.

If you find a raccoon in your home, call for help. If you find a raccoon on your porch and it’s very docile or aggressive, call for help. Let the experts handle things. Don’t take it on your own shoulders.

Call police right away and stay away as much as possible. Also, keep your pets away from potential danger. We offer these tips not because of any ill will directed at raccoons. We just want everyone to be safe from danger.