MONONGALIA COUNTY, W.Va. –– The first case of rabies in 2024 has been confirmed on property at the Preston-Monongalia County line.

The owner of the property off Gladesville Road in Independence found a racoon fighting with a barn cat.

The owner euthenized the racoon and tests at the Office of Laboratory Services in South Charleston confirmed rabies in the racoon.

In 2023, Monongalia County had four of West Virginia’s 46 reported cases of rabies, according to the annual West Virginia Animal Rabies Surveillance Report sent out by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

Rabies reports came from 18 of the state’s 55 counties. Four was the highest number of cases in any of the counties, and that number was also reported in Greenbrier, Hampshire and Mineral counties.

West Virginia law requires dogs and cats to be kept up to date on rabies vaccinations. If an unvaccinated pet is attacked by a rabid animal, euthanasia is usually recommended.

“Vaccinating your pets also helps to keep you and your family safe, as well as the community,” Powroznik said. “We also recommend spaying and neutering pets in order to keep the number of strays low.”


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