The Youngstown City Health District has received notification from the US Department of Agriculture regarding a rabies-positive raccoon that was found within the city. 

The raccoon was located near Volney Rogers field, close to the intersection of Glenwood Ave and E Glacier Dr.  This is the first rabies detection of 2024 in Mahoning County.

Rabies is a potentially deadly viral disease most often transmitted through bites and scratches from unvaccinated pets, strays, and wild animals.

It is advised to avoid approaching wildlife to prevent the spread of rabies and other diseases.

Faith Terreri, Environmental Health Director for Youngstown, said at this time, there is no plan to distribute additional rabies baits.  The raccoon was turned in to the USDA for sampling on February 27.

The USDA told 21 News that ORV baits will be distributed in Youngstown and surrounding areas in August as part of annual wildlife vaccination campaigns.

According to the USDA, the positive raccoon was found in an area that is known to have rabies, and  that the "USDA will continue to conduct enhanced surveillance in cooperation with the Ohio Department Health and local county and city health departments."

Anyone seeing an animal like raccoons, skunks, and other animals acting strangely, to report it to local authorities.

Pets need to be vaccinated against rabies.

The USDA collects and tests any strange-acting animals or those found deceased if they have not been involved in a human or pet exposure. 

People who are bit or scratched by wildlife should contact their local county Health Department or, if they are within the city of Youngstown, the Youngstown Health District.


The USDA offers tips on rabies, what it is, and how to protect yourself and your pets.

Q. What is rabies?
A. Rabies is a deadly virus that affects the central nervous system in mammals. Effective vaccines are available to prevent rabies in people, pets, and wildlife.

Q. How do you contract rabies?
A. The rabies virus is almost always spread through the bite of an infected animal.

Q. Why should I be worried about rabies in wildlife?
A. Rabies is a serious public health threat—if left untreated, it is always fatal. More than 90 percent of reported rabies cases in the United States are in wildlife.
As human populations grow in suburban and rural areas, there is more interaction with wildlife. This increases the risk of rabies exposure for people and pets.

Q. How can I tell if an animal has rabies?
A. The visible signs of rabies may include any of the following: aggressive behavior, lethargy, confusion, attacking for no reason, acting tame, stumbling, or walking in a circle. Never approach a wild animal. If you have questions about wildlife, call the U.S. Department of
Agriculture’s (USDA) Wildlife Services at 1-866-4-USDAWS (1-866-487-3297) or your State’s wildlife agency.

Q. What should I do if an animal bites me?
A. Wash the wounds thoroughly with soap and water right away. Contact your local health department, your doctor, or hospital emergency room for medical guidance. If the bite came from a domestic animal, get the name and address of the animal’s owner. If it came from a wild animal, contact animal control or a professional wildlife trapper to confine the animal.

Q. What should I do if I find a dead animal?
A. Call your local animal control office or USDA Wildlife Services (1-866-487-3297) for instructions. If you must move the animal, wear gloves or use a shovel to avoid direct contact. If the animal did not cause a rabies exposure (such as a bite, scratch, or contact with saliva), bury it in the ground at least 18 inches deep. If there was an exposure from the animal, put the carcass into a heavy plastic bag and place it in a cold area away from people and other animals. The area can be cleaned with 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.

Q. What can I do to prevent rabies?
A. There are many things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and pets from rabies:
Stay away from wild animals.

  • Vaccinate your pets against rabies per State and local laws.
  • Don’t touch, pick up, or relocate wild animals or stray domestic animals.
  • Don’t feed wild animals or make your yard inviting to them.
  • Remove trash and secure garbage cans. Do not leave pet food outside.
  • Keep family pets indoors at night. During the day, don’t let them roam.
  • Report unknown, strangely behaving, or deceased animals to your local animal control office or USDA Wildlife Services.