(KMOV.com) - A wildlife rescue group says it is seeing an increasing number of raccoons with distemper.
The Bi-State Wildlife Hotline says it used to put down three or four raccoons per month, now it says it is putting down as many per day. Volunteers have been picking up raccoons in Webster Groves, Lemay, Manchester, Ballwin, and Oakville.
Distemper is a disease that makes an animal look lethargic. The rescue group says the disease can run its course in three weeks but can persist if people feed the raccoon.
"They'll last longer, but in some ways feeding them is just prolonging the agony," said Angel Wintrode of the Bi-State Wildlife Hotline. "They'll live longer but they live with the seizures and live like this, this isn't living, this is no way for an animal to exist so we'd much rather have him humanely gone."
Wintrode says distemper can spread to a family pet if it comes into contact with an infected raccoon. If there is an infected animal in your neighborhood you can contact Bi-State Wildlife here.