There are few public health threats as concerning as the spread of rabies. A bite or scratch from an infected animal can spread this deadly viral disease from animal to animal or animal to person.
The most common carriers of rabies in Florida are
coyotes, bats, foxes and – most frequently – raccoons. Diseased animals may behave differently than healthy ones. They may stagger, behave aggressively, be out at times of the day when they wouldn’t normally (nocturnal raccoons active during the day) and may salivate excessively or "foam at the mouth."
DO NOT relocate raccoons; it is against the law in Pinellas County. If bitten or scratched by a raccoon contact the bite department at (727) 582-2608. Relocating a raccoon is illegal and leads to fighting among raccoons and the spread of disease. Pinellas County Code
Since rabies is such a dangerous disease, the most important way to protect yourself and your pets is to prevention of contact with rabies. Also, keep your pet’s rabies vaccinations current (dogs, cats, ferrets, sheep, horses and cattle). Health officials recommend a three-year rabies vaccine as the most effective means of protecting your pet from rabies.
In the State of Florida it is required by law that each dog, cat and ferret over the age of 4 months receives a rabies vaccination. In Pinellas County it is also required that you obtain a license for your pet. You can obtain a license from most local veterinarians or at Pinellas County Animal Services.
Where to get your pet vaccinated:
The following guidelines will help citizens protect their pets and families: