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Raccoon rabies vaccine baits distributed Aug. 3

Tawnya Panizzi
| Monday, July 30, 2018, 2:33 p.m.
Rabies vaccine baits will be distributed in local parks beginning Aug. 3.
Rabies vaccine baits will be distributed in local parks beginning Aug. 3.

Dog owners are encouraged to keep their pets on a leash for the next few weeks while rabies vaccine baits are distributed in local parks.

The Allegheny Health Department announced that the 2018 raccoon vaccination baiting project will run Aug. 3-17.

Crews will be placing the square blocks of fishmeal in wooded areas across the county, with particular emphasis on parks like Squaw Valley in O’Hara and Emmerling in Indiana Township.

Health Department officials said the bait won’t harm pets but eating too many can irritate their stomachs.

Rabies is a viral infection that affects the nervous system. It infects a large number of raccoons and can spread to other wildlife and pets, making it a concern for humans.

The county has partnered with the USDA Wildlife Services since 2001 to disseminate vaccine baits. Made of fishmeal and fish oil, raccoons are attracted to the bait which includes a packet of vaccine in the middle.

Officials believe most of the baits will be consumed about five days after being distributed. People should avoid touching the baits but if they have to, use latex gloves or plastic bags to move them.

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, tpanizzi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.

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