Raccoon Information

Please look at and review the following information on Raccoons and Distemper. We would like to remind you that if you have any issues with potentially diseased raccoons, please call our Animal Control Office at 904-247-5866.

  • Raccoons are susceptible to infection by both canine and feline distemper. Although they both can cause acute illness and death, they are caused by two completely different viruses. Distemper does not affect humans.
  • The disease is more likely to occur when raccoon populations are large or concentrated. Not all raccoons get the disease and many do survive these outbreaks.
  • The disease is spread when animals have direct contact with body fluids or droppings from an infected animal. Distemper is always present in the environment, so the best prevention is to ensure your pets are vaccinated. Contact your vet to make sure your dog’s shots are current.
  • Symptoms of distemper may include discharge from the nose and eyes, a rough coat, emaciated appearance, and unusual behavior such as disorientation or wandering aimlessly. Distemper is not the same disease as rabies, although some symptoms are similar.
  • Keep children and pets away from sick raccoons. As the disease progresses, the animal may appear calm, but can become aggressive if approached too closely.
  • If you have a sick raccoon in your yard, please call the Atlantic Beach Police Department at (904) 247-5859. An animal control officer will be dispatched as soon as possible.

To discourage raccoons, remove attractants from your yard:

  • Feed pets indoors.
  • Make sure garbage cans are secure and can’t be knocked over or their lids removed. Sick raccoons may pass through your yard and move on. If a raccoon dies in your yard, place it in a thick garbage bag and dispose of it with your garbage.


Providing artificial food sources may lead to unnaturally large concentrations of animals and increase the spread of disease.