A small child was attacked by a raccoon in Arlington earlier this week, and city officials are warning residents to keep an eye on their children and pets after announcing Friday that the raccoon had rabies.
Police were called to a home on Franklin Road at 6 p.m. 16.15 on Wednesday, Arlington Police said in a statement.
A child under the age of 5 was attacked by a large raccoon in the backyard of the home, police said. The child̵
The child was treated in an ambulance at the scene of bite marks and scratches from the raccoon, according to the statement. Police said the child was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, but it is expected to be in order.
After failing to find the animal during an initial search in the area near the home, police saw a dull raccoon near Buena Vista Road at 6 p.m. 17:40, police said.
The raccoon appeared to be the same one who attacked the child, according to the statement. Police said they humanly killed the raccoon and brought it to a state test site.
On Friday, state health department Arlington officials announced that the raccoon had tested positive for rabies, according to police.
“While we do not believe there is any current danger to society, we would notify residents of this incident so they can pay attention to protecting their loved ones and pets,” Arlington Police Chief Juliann Flaherty said in the statement.
Residents should report all animals behaving strangely, keep pets and children away from animals, and ensure pets are vaccinated against rabies to prevent the disease from spreading, officials said.
“Rabies can make wildlife extremely aggressive towards humans and pets,” Arlington Director of Health and Human Services Christine Bongiorno said in the statement. “It is always important to be sure to never approach or feed wild animals. Keeping your trash covered and not leaving pet food outside your house can be helpful ways to prevent the attraction of unwanted wildlife into our neighborhoods. ”
Arlington residents who see an animal behaving strangely were encouraged to distance themselves and report it to the Arlington Police Department at 781-643-1212.
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