A young child was attacked by a raccoon in Arlington earlier this week, and city officials are warning residents to keep an eye on children and pets after they announced on Friday that the raccoon was rabies.
Police were called to Franklin Road’s home at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, a statement from Arlington Police said.
A child under the age of 5 was attacked by a large raccoon in the backyard of the home, police said. The child̵
The child was treated in an ambulance at the scene for traces of raccoon bites and scratches, the statement said. Police said the child was taken to a hospital in Massachusetts, but is expected to be well.
After failing to find the animal during an initial search of the area near the home, police noticed a lethargic washing bubble near Buena Vista Road at 5:40 p.m., police said.
The raccoon appears to have been the one who attacked the child, the statement said. Police said they humanely euthanized the raccoon and brought it to a state test site.
On Friday, the State Department of Health informed Arlington officials that the raccoon had tested positive for rabies, according to police.
“While we don’t believe there is any current danger to the community, we wanted to notify residents of the incident so they can be vigilant to protect their loved ones and pets,” Arlington Police Chief Julian Flaherty said in a statement.
Residents should report all animals that behave strangely, keep pets and children away from animals and ensure that pets are vaccinated against rabies to prevent the spread of the disease, officials said.
“Rabies can make wildlife extremely aggressive towards humans and pets,” Arlington Director of Health and Humanitarian Services Christine Bongiorno said in a statement. “It’s always important to make sure you never approach or feed wildlife. Keeping your bin covered and not leaving pet food outside your house can be a useful way to prevent unwanted wildlife from attracting to our neighborhoods. “
Arlington residents who see an animal behaving strangely have been urged to stay away and report it to the Arlington Police Department at 781-643-1212.
Caroline Enos can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @CarolineEnos.