Warning for dog owners in Central Park amid outbreak affecting raccoons

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Dog owners visiting Central Park are being warned to keep their pets on a leash while the Parks Department deals with an outbreak affecting raccoons.

The department says park rangers have collected 85 sick or dead raccoons from the park recently. None of those submitted for testing have been positive for rabies.

It's related to a distemper outbreak affecting the animals in the park.

Distemper does not cause a threat to humans, but unvaccinated dogs and other wildlife can be affected.

NYC Parks and Health Department officials are specifically concerned about dogs in the park during dusk and dawn, off-leash hours, after two incidents where dogs had encounters with raccoons.

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