Call to Action
Pacific Grove Police Department, Community Service Officers (CSOs) are responding to an unusually high number of racoons showing signs of illness. The City is awaiting a toxicology report to confirm what type of virus is being spread, but the symptoms are indicative of Distemper. Before staff can confirm, the City wanted to complete this public service announcement for both education and action.
If it is distemper, distemper is contagious and can infect a wide range of domestic (including dogs and cats) and wild carnivores (including racoons, foxes, and skunks). Distemper, however, is not transmissible to humans. The virus can cause respiratory, neurologic and gastrointestinal illness. Domestic animals that are vaccinated for distemper protect pets and wildlife; unvaccinated are vulnerable to contracting and spreading the disease. There is no treatment for sick animals, except supportive care. Unfortunately, wildlife is typically euthanized due to the severity of the disease.
You can help to curb transmissions! We are asking community members to:
- Bring in all outdoor food and water, particularly those for cats and dogs. Leaving food outdoors facilitates the spreading of viruses by attracting wildlife to feed.
- Ensure you vaccinate and keep your animals’ vaccinations up to date! If you are unable to afford this service through a local veterinarian, the SPCA offers low-cost vaccination options.
- Report racoons (and other wildlife) that are exhibiting abnormal behavior, including incoordination, confusion and/or eye and nasal discharge. Be sure to keep a safe distance. The quicker we can remove them from the environment, the better to limit transmission to other animals.
We ask our community to respect and protect wild animals to keep them wild! A huge component is not feeding wildlife, either intentionally or unintentionally. Feeding wildlife is prohibited by local laws.
Pacific Grove community members are directed to call the Police Department at (831) 648-3143 to report wildlife in distress, the feeding of wildlife, to request additional vaccination information, or for general questions to a Community Service Officer.