SALEM — A rabid raccoon killed by a dog near Broad Street is prompting officials to ask area residents to keep their pets up-to-date on vaccinations.

In this case, because the dog was current on its shots, "they only have a 45-day quarantine and (a request) to booster," city animal control officer Don Famico said. 

The incident happened in the area of Broad Street Cemetery, Famico said. It involved a medium-sized Lab mix that got in a fight with a raccoon in the household's backyard.

The dog killed the raccoon, but because of the contact with another animal, the city had the raccoon's body sent to a lab for testing, Famico said.

"It was sent in to Animal Health for rabies testing, came back positive," Famico said. "There were no reports back that there were any injuries" to the dog, he said. 

Still, Famico said, the shots likely had an impact on the dog's survival.

Rabies incidents have been uncommon lately, Famico said. The city has not had a confirmed rabies case "in a couple years," he said, and it has been even longer since an animal was killed by rabid wildlife. He recalled a cat that died "a long time ago."

Inoculations help keep the threat down, Famico said. 

"People just need to use caution. All these animals are being pushed out of their habitats," Famico said. "Make sure they're current, because it makes a big difference in terms of what the quarantine can be."

Contact Salem reporter Dustin Luca at 978-338-2523 or DLuca@salemnews.com. Follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/dustinluca or on Twitter @DustinLucaSN.

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