A woman brought a baby shower to a local Petco in Maine earlier this week, possibly exposing herself and others to rabies, and now wildlife officials are asking for the public’s help in identifying her.
The woman took the cleaner to the Petco store on Auburn Avenue around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday to trim her nails. While waiting, according to wildlife officials who have already handled the investigation, many have touched the raccoon and some have even kissed it.
When a store manager was alerted to the presence of an animal in the store, they asked the woman to leave and contacted the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maine Surveillance Service.
It’s illegal to own wild animals in Maine, and Petco doesn’t clip washed-up nails, officials said.
Because raccoons are one of the most common rabies harborers in Maine, and rabies can be fatal if left untreated, wildlife officials are now working to ensure that plenty of employees and customers are exposed.
“If you have been exposed to this raccoon, contact your health care provider,” the Inland Maine Department of Fish and Game said on Facebook later Thursday. “rabies is transmitted through the saliva or neural tissue of a rabid animal, and a person can be exposed when that saliva or the tissue of a rabid animal comes into contact with a person through a bite or wound, breaks in the skin or comes into contact with the eyes, nose or mouth.
Anyone with information about the woman with the raccoon is asked to contact the Maine Surveillance Service at 1-800-452-4664. Anyone with questions about rabies can call the Maine CDC at 1-800-821-5821.