‘Some kissed it’: Rabies alert issued after woman brings raccoon to Petco to have its nails clipped

A woman brought a raccoon into a Petco in Auburn, Maine, to have its nails clipped earlier this week, possibly exposing herself and many others to rabies, officials said.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife wasn’t happy about the woman’s decision, writing in a news release, “It is illegal to possess wildlife in Maine, and Petco does not trim raccoon nails.”

The unidentified woman brought the raccoon into the store on Tuesday around 1:30 p.m. and while waiting for workers, she allowed many people to handle and kiss the animal, according to the Maine Warden Service.

“Once the store manager was alerted to the raccoon, the manager asked the woman with the raccoon to leave the store,” the Warden Service said.

Raccoons are one of the most common carriers of rabies in Maine and the viral disease is lethal unless treated after exposure.

Rabies is spread through a rabid animal’s saliva or neural tissue, and a person can be exposed when that saliva or neural tissue of a rabid animal comes in contact with a person through a bite or scratch, cut in the skin, or gets into the eyes, nose, or mouth.

Anyone who believes they were exposed to the raccoon is urged to contact their healthcare provider immediately.

The Warden Service is also asking the public for help identifying the woman. Anyone who recognizes here is asked to contact 1-800-452-4664.

The Maine Warden Service is seeking information regarding a woman who brought a juvenile raccoon into the Auburn Petco...

Posted by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife on Thursday, May 25, 2023

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