Raccoon killed in western P.E.I. did not have rabies, vet college says

A raccoon shot and killed by an RCMP officer because it was acting aggressively and foaming at the mouth was tested for rabies and distemper, and the results came back negative.

RCMP officer shot raccoon after woman reported it foaming at mouth

The raccoon, not shown, was foaming at the mouth when it was euthanized by a P.E.I. RCMP officer. (CBC)

A raccoon shot and killed by an RCMP officer because it was acting aggressively and foaming at the mouth was tested for rabies and distemper, and the results came back negative.

A concerned mother in North St. Eleanors, P.E.I., had called police, saying the animal was pacing back and forth in front of their door, and wouldn't go away. She said it was growling and foaming at the mouth.

There was a certain amount of white substance around the mouth and he was acting very strangely.— Mike Lutley

East Prince RCMP Cpl. Mike Lutley said when he and another officer arrived, the raccoon started coming toward them in a threatening manner.

"He was foaming from the mouth. There was a certain amount of white substance around the mouth and he was acting very strangely," he said. "He was actually coming toward us and he was making some odd growling sounds. As a result, I euthanized the raccoon by shooting him."

The carcass was sent to the Atlantic Veterinary College to test for rabies and distemper. In an email to CBC News Thursday afternoon, Megan Jones, an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology, confirmed the results came back negative.

Bat rabies in early 1990s

"It was quite skinny (emaciated) and had a painful looking tail wound that was infected; in the absence of other significant findings, I could speculate it was more aggressive because of this painful wound," she wrote.

Jones said to her knowledge, raccoon rabies has never been diagnosed on P.E.I.

"There were some cases — possibly the early '90s — of bat rabies being transmitted to a small number of foxes on the Island, but nothing since then," she said. "Distemper has never been identified in P.E.I. wildlife in our diagnostic service, (going back about 20 years)."

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With files from Laura Chapin