- Associated Press - Sunday, October 15, 2017

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Animal control officials are urging South Bend residents to exercise caution with their pets amid a surge in suspected distemper cases in raccoons.

South Bend Animal Care and Control says that as many as 65 sickly raccoons have been euthanized in just over three months in the northern Indiana city. Office Director Jenn Gobel says 33 raccoons were euthanized last month, compared with just two in September 2016.

The South Bend Tribune reports that officials say if a sick raccoon infects a domestic pet with distemper it can prove fatal.

Jessica Merkling is an urban biologist with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. She says state wildlife officials are aware of the issue in South Bend, but haven’t been alerted to an unusual surge in sick raccoons elsewhere.

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Information from: South Bend Tribune, https://www.southbendtribune.com

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