EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) are alerting the public that a raccoon tested positive for rabies.

The raccoon was found on Friday at Bold Point Park in East Providence. The DEM said the Wildlife Clinic of Rhode Island was called in to collect the animal, which was humanely euthanized then transported to the state health lab, where it was tested for rabies.

Here are some tips from the DEM to prevent rabies exposure:

  • Make sure all dogs, cats, and ferrets have updated rabies vaccinations
  • Avoid all contact with and do not feed stray animals
  • Avoid all contact with and do not feed wild animals
  • Protect your pets by maintaining control
  • Report all animal bites to your city/town’s animal control officer
  • Securely cover all garbage cans so wild animals can’t access them
  • Bat-proof your home

Anyone who may have had direct contact with a raccoon or was walking a pet that had contact with a racoon in the area should call RIDOH’s Center for Acute Infectious Disease Epidemiology at (401) 222-2577 for guidance on treating the potentially deadly disease.