The Wayland Health Department announced Wednesday that a raccoon found in north Wayland had tested positive for rabies.
According to a press release, the raccoon was found off of Concord Road and Lincoln Road.
Health Director Julia Junghanns said a homeowner reported a raccoon "acting injured and hanging around their yard hiding in a wood pile."
Wayland's animal control officer responded and followed the steps to terminate the animal. The decision to have the raccoon tested was made because the animal was reported as looking "very sick" and two dogs had possibly been exposed to the raccoon.
"When an animal tests positive for rabies it is likely that there are other animals in the area that are carrying the disease," reads the press release from the Wayland Health Department. "Rabies is a serious disease that is usually a disease of animals but it can spread from an infected animal to a person."
A rabies-infected animal spreads the disease by biting another animal or person.
Residents should not approach wild or stray animals and are asked to report any animal that acts "oddly" to the .
"Ensure that your pets are up to date on their vaccinations against rabies, keep pets in a fenced yard or on a leash, don’t feed or water your pets outside, and keep garbage securely covered. Open garbage will attract wild or stray animals," recommends the press release.
A public health fact sheet about rabies is included with this article.