CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Health officials say a dog in Chesapeake encountered a raccoon that tested positive for rabies.

The encounter occurred between a domesticated canine and a raccoon on October 4 in the 1300 block of Oleander Avenue in the Norfolk Highlands area of Chesapeake. When Chesapeake Animal Services officers arrived, the raccoon was deceased. Testing confirmed the raccoon was rabies positive.

Officials say the dog involved in the encounter is up-to-date on rabies vaccinations and is currently under a ten-day observation period. The owner was not exposed to the raccoon.   

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. It kills almost any mammal or human that gets sick from it. The rabies virus is mainly in the saliva and brain of rabid animals. It can be transmitted through a bite or getting saliva or brain tissue in a wound, eye, nose, or mouth. 

Health officials emphasize the following recommendations residents to take in protecting their families and their pets from rabies: 

  • If your pet and/or livestock has been in contact with an animal that might be rabid, check for injuries and contact the Chesapeake Animal Control at (757) 382-8080. 
  • Seek medical treatment promptly for any animal bite to ensure appropriate and timely evaluation and treatment. All animal exposures must be taken seriously. 
  • Do not approach wild animals, especially raccoons, bats, foxes, or skunks. If you think a wild animal needs help, call the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries or a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for guidance ( 
  • Bring stray domestic animals, especially if they appear ill or injured, to the attention of local animal control authorities. If you think a stray animal needs help, contact your local animal control office for guidance. 
  • Have your veterinarian vaccinate your dogs, cats, ferrets, and selected livestock. Keep the vaccinations up to date. Consult your veterinarian or the Chesapeake Health Department if you have any questions about pet vaccinations. 
  • Confine your pets and livestock to your property. 
  • Securely seal garbage containers with lids. 


State law requires all dogs and cats over the age of four months to be vaccinated against rabies. For more information on rabies, contact the Chesapeake Health Department at (757) 382-8672 or Animal Control at (757) 382-8080.