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By Noelda Lopez

February 28, 2018

Noelda Lopez, Public Information Specialist
Office: 352-589-6424, After Hours: 352-728-7662

EUSTIS, FL–  The Florida Department of Health in Lake County is trying to locate a (female or male) who dropped off a raccoon with rabies and left no information.

The individual brought the (deceased) raccoon to Park Heights Animal Care Center located at 3350 US Hwy 441/27 Fruitland Park, FL but left no information.  The animal was tested positive for the rabies virus.

Health officials just want to talk to this individual to determine if they were exposed and whether he/she need treatment.

We ask that anyone who information contact (352) 771-5500 as soon as possible.

Rabies is transmitted through exposure to the saliva and nervous tissue from a rabid animal through a bite, scratch, or contact with mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose, or mouth. Florida Department of Health in Lake County works with Lake County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services in responding to incidents of animal bites, tests animals for rabies through the Department of Health state laboratory, and quarantines animals as necessary. Florida Department of Health in Lake County can also advise victims of animal bites where to obtain rabies vaccinations, the only known effective treatment for rabies prevention in humans.

The following are steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones against rabies:

  • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
  • Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Lake County Animal Services at 352-343-9668.
  • Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood
  • Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinate
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
  • Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
  • Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas, where they might come in contact with people and pets.

Unusual acting animals should be reported to Lake County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services at 352-343-9668 for handling. Anyone who is bitten or scratched by wild animals or strays should call to report the incident to their doctor immediately, as well as Lake County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services and their local health department. The contact number to report an animal bite to the Florida Department of Health in Lake County is 352-253-6130.



The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County is trying to locate a man and woman who came in contact with a rabid bat.

The couple brought the deceased bat to Busch Gardens on March 19, and tests showed that the animal had the rabies virus.

The couple brought the bat to the park in a cardboard box and the employee who received it had been vaccinated against rabies, so it is not believed anyone at the park was infected, according to a release from the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County.

The couple said they were not bitten by the bat so their risk of infection is minimal. Rabies transmission requires an open bite wound, cuts in the skin or transmission though mucous membranes, such as the mouth or eyes.

Still, officials want to talk with the couple to determine if they were exposed and whether they need treatment. They also want to know where the bat was found.

The couple was driving a Ford F150 pickup truck.

Anyone with information should call the health department at (813) 307-8059