December 2, 2015


***Rabies Alert*** Mercer County Raccoon Tests Positive for Rabies


Location – Anchorage Road, South Pymatuning Township, Sharpsville, Mercer County


Summary – A woman had kept a raccoon as a pet for 7 years in an outdoor enclosure after she found the baby raccoon with its mother who was killed on the road.  One evening when she went to feed the raccoon it attacked her.  It bit her twice on the right thigh and on the right wrist.  A neighbor came to help her and shot the raccoon while it was still attached to her wrist. It was submitted to the Lionville Laboratory in Exton, PA where it tested positive for rabies.  The woman stated that the raccoon was sleepy acting for 2 days prior to the attack.


Exposure – No animals were exposed to this raccoon.  One woman was exposed to the raccoon and is receiving post-exposure prophylaxis.



Rabies Law – Pennsylvania law requires all dogs and non-feral cats three months of age and older to be vaccinated against rabies. Booster vaccinations must be administered periodically to maintain lifelong immunity. Failure to comply with the law may result in a fine of up to $300.


For more information, visit and search “rabies.”


Contact:   Sarah E. Yurisic, 814-332-6890




This notification is intended for the use of the animal health community and does not constitute a press release from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Media inquiries can be made to 717-787-5085.