An eighth rabid animal has been found in Worcester County. County Health officials remind pet owners to be aware and be sure their pets have the proper vaccinations. Officials say a groundhog found on Manklin Creek Road in the Ocean Pines area on July 3 has tested positive for rabies.

So far in Worcester County 5 raccoons, 2 foxes and 1 groundhog have tested positive for rabies this year. Many of these confirmed rabid animals, as well as many other suspect animals that were unable to be tested, had contact with pets or people. It is extremely important that pets’ rabies vaccinations stay current and that these encounters are reported so that testing and proper rabies risk assessments can be made for the people and pets involved.

What you should know about rabies –
• If you see a wild animal, such as a raccoon, skunk, fox, groundhog, opossum, or a feral cat behaving in a threatening or obviously sick manner or should your pet be involved in an altercation with one of those animals – REPORT IMMEDIATELY to your local police department or Sheriff’s office.

• Prevent further contact by keeping pets and people away. If a pet or person has already had contact, it is important that the rabies suspect animal be obtained (safely) for rabies testing.

• If a pet has had contact, DO NOT TOUCH the pet barehanded. Make sure the Health Department is contacted for further instructions, if contact has occurred. Your pet’s veterinarian may also be contacted for further advice.