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Rabid raccoon found in Denver

DENVER — A recent finding of a rabid raccoon spurred Denver Animal Protection to remind residents to ensure their pets are vaccinated.

The rabid animal was found in the 4600 block of Sherman Street.

After a fight with two dogs at a home in the area, the raccoon died. After testing, it was found to be positive for rabies, officials said.

The dogs involved were reported to have been scratched and bitten, but it’s unknown if they were adequately vaccinated for rabies as they ran off after the fight and haven’t been seen since.

Rabies is a viral infection that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals. It is almost always fatal.

Colorado saw a sharp uptick in the number of rabies cases throughout the summer.

As of August, Jefferson County’s skunk count was up to four times higher than every other county is the state. Denver had the second-highest skunk count at nine this year.

Most Colorado rabies cases are found in skunks and bats, but rabies can also affect other wildlife such as raccoons as well as pets and livestock.

Humans and domestic animals can become infected through contact with wild animals.

Animals that have rabies can display confusion, uncharacteristic aggression or a lack of fear around people. Staggering, trembling or weakness are also signs to look for in infected animals.

Denver Animal Shelter offers weekly low-cost rabies vaccinations clinics on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The cost is $15 per pet.