Increasing animal control calls for raccoons in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Increasing animal control calls for raccoons in Dubuque

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Dubuque animal control is busier than usual -- all due to raccoons.

"Animal control and police departments have seen an increase in the number of calls regarding  sick or unusually acting raccoons," said Public Health Specialist Mary Rose Corrigan.

In the past two and a half months, animal control has responded to about 55 calls of wild animals, mostly for raccoons.

"We have about three to five wild animal calls that we will respond to per month, and fifty-five is clearly higher than normal," added Corrigan.

Wild animal trapper, Joe Frederick says the changing season is a factor.

"Time of year, they're starting to...looking for dens to hide in, hibernate in.  A lot of times coon will not hibernate at all unless it starts getting cold," he said.

But that's not the only reason.  Experts say if you see a raccoon out during daylight, it's really unusual and it's probably sick with the distemper virus.

"They walk around like they're drunk intoxicated.  They have stuff coming out of their nose, they're eyes will be all matted...they're basically sick," said Frederick.

If you happen to see a raccoon, it's best to stay away. 

If a raccoon seems to be in distress, it's best to call animal control or the police department.

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