The United States Department of Agriculture will be distributing the oral rabies vaccine in the Tennessee Valley beginning next month.

The RABORAL-VRG® baits will be dropped in various parts of the eastern United States to prevent raccoon rabies from spreading into the heartland, the USDA explained.

The USDA said Dalton is an area where they will disperse the bait. Between late September and early October, airplanes and helicopters will drop 880,000 ORV baits. The Dalton project will cover parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina.

The baits are coated with fishmeal attractant and are packaged in one-inch square cubes or two-inch plastic sachets. It is safe 60 different species of animals, including dogs and cats.

People and pets cannot get rabies from touching the bait, but the USDA says not to mess with the baits.

If your pet eats a large number of baits, they could have an upset stomach. There won't be any long-term health risks, though.

The USDA says if kids or adults mess with the baits, they should rinse the contact area with warm water and soap.

For more information about the RABORAL-VRG® baits, visit the USDA's website.