'Sick' Raccoons Invading Area

Police said they've had at least 16 cases of "sick" raccoons staggering around the area in the past month.

The number of “sick” raccoons moving into Bridgeville and South Fayette has community leaders worried about the spread of disease by the wild animals.

“Something is obviously wrong because I’ve never seen this many calls for sick raccoons,” Bridgeville police Chief Chad King said.

King said he has received 16 or 17 calls in the past two months for raccoons that appear to be disoriented or diseased. They don’t necessarily have rabies, King said, but could have “a dozen other diseases.”

No one has been injured from any raccoons, although one apparently bit a Bridgeville resident’s pet. The animal tested negative for rabies and is doing fine.

He urged people to stay away from the animals and call 911 if they notice anything wrong.

“They look like a drunk raccoon,” King said, alluding to them swaying and staggering while they walk.

Kings has contacted the Allegheny County Health Department and U.S. Department of Agriculture about the situation. The Department of Agriculture, which has offices in Coraopolis and South Park, is hoping to capture one of the animals so it can be tested for disease.

King said the cases have been reported “everywhere” in the borough, and cautioned people to not approach them. He added that there also are "quite a few" in South Fayette Township.

Last year, Allegheny County after a dog apparently fought with one last April. The county also worked in this area last summer .

Do you have a lot of raccoons by your home? Have you seen any of the possibly diseased raccoons? Tell us in the comments.

This article first appeared on Chartiers Valley Patch.

Gary Paul April 15, 2012 at 12:57 PM
I haven't actually seen any of these raccoons. But last night, I heard some very loud dance music coming from the woods. I'm pretty sure that the raccoons have been throwing wild parties.
Joan Marie April 15, 2012 at 02:28 PM
There a lot in my Empire Drive South Fayette neighborhood. I have a trap. If I catch one will someone come to pick it up?
Becky Brindle April 15, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Becky Brindle April 15, 2012 at 09:49 PM
I'm not sure how that works in South Fayette Township. I would call their office on Monday morning 412-221-8700 or their police department (412) 279-6911.
william atwell April 23, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Your animal control officer should pick them up. from what i came to understand by Pa law the animal control officer is bound by law to pick them up and they will be taken care of. Most wild animals that become a problem like Racoons and such are destroyed by law. This is to help prevent the spread of diseases and such. It is sad but i do understand.


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