COTTAGE GROVE (WCCO) — After police received numerous complaints of sick raccoons, Cottage Grove residents are being warned to take precautions with their children and pets.

As of Thursday, Cottage Grove Police have killed 17 raccoons for being in “obvious distress and a concern for public safety.” Since July, police have responded to 30 complaints of sick raccoons.

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Police say this appears to be a case of the Distemper virus, which can cause animals to act or appear impaired. They may also exhibit symptoms such as runny eyes, staggering, trembling, foaming at the mouth or snapping.

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Residents are being warned not to capture and relocate raccoons on their own. Parents are also advised to speak with their children and tell them not to approach any raccoons.

Police also advise pet owners to keep dog bowls inside and make sure their dogs are up to date on their distemper shots.

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If residents see a raccoon with symptoms similar to Distemper, they are asked to call Washington County Dispatch at 651-439-9381.