Group founder and president Angel Wintrode says that since October they’ve had to start capturing and putting down infected raccoons at an incredibly high rate.
“In a normal year it would be maybe three or four a month,” Wintrode says, “where right now we’re doing three and four a day. It’s crazy the amount that we are bringing in.”
The added emphasis on dog owners is because dogs that haven’t received their parvo-distemper shot are susceptible to the fatal neurological disease.
“This is not the standard rabies vaccine,” Wintrode explains. “This is the extra vaccine that your veterinarian asks you ‘Hey, do you want to do this extra one? It’s only fifteen bucks more’.”
Infected raccoons often come out during daylight hours, showing little of their natural inclination to avoid contact with humans or pets.
They might be stumbling around or falling over almost as if they were drunk, Wintrode says.
Infected raccoons have already been seen in Chesterfield, Ballwin, Ellisville, Manchester, Rock Hill, Kirkwood, Webster Groves, High Ridge and Fenton.
They’re contagious to unvaccinated dogs and if approached have the potential to injure people or pets.
In Missouri, anyone who believes they may have encountered a raccoon suffering from distemper is asked to call (636) 492-1610.