DRYDEN, N.Y. –– The Tompkins County Health Department is notifying the public after receiving reports of a raccoon being harbored, possibly as a pet, inside a residence at the Poets Landing Apartments in the Town of Dryden.

The health department wants to speak with any person who might have had contact with this raccoon in the last two months. The health department has not confirmed the current status of the raccoon but said there is no risk to other residents of the apartment complex unless they have had contact with a raccoon that resulted in a bite, scratch or saliva contact.

According to a press release, all raccoons are considered as potential rabies carriers unless testing verifies that the animal was not infected with the virus. Raccoons can also carry intestinal parasites and other diseases that can be transmitted to humans and cause serious illness or death.

Rehabilitation of raccoons and any other wildlife should only be undertaken by trained, NYS DEC licensed rehabilitators.

If anyone has had contact with this or any raccoon, or has any questions regarding this incident, please contact the Tompkins County Health Department at (607) 274-6688.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at alamb@ithacavoice.com