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Protecting Your Family and Pets from Rabies

Archived Backgrounder

Protecting Your Family and Pets from Rabies

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

There are currently 76 cases of confirmed raccoon strain and fox strain rabies in parts of southwestern Ontario. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is actively responding by distributing vaccination bait drops and offers tips on how to help keep rabies from spreading, protecting your family and pets, and information on who to call if you think you've come across an animal that may be rabid.

What you can do to protect your family and pets from rabies

  • Have your pets vaccinated according to instructions from your veterinarian.
  • Do not feed wild animals. You may be putting your family in danger.
  • Warn your children to stay away from wild or stray animals.
  • Do not attempt to trap wild animals that are causing damage to your property. Instead, contact a professional animal control officer to remove nuisance animals.
  • Do not trap and transport wild animals to a new location. You could spread disease.
  • Take measures to discourage wild animals from taking up residence in your home or on your property.
  • Do not keep wildlife as pets.
  • Report any animals behaving strangely to your local animal control office.
  • Do not touch dead or sick animals except to bury or dispose of them. Do so carefully, wearing protective gloves and making sure pets cannot get at the carcasses.
  • Do not try to nurse sick animals to health.

Who to call

  • If you think you, or any member of your family has been in contact with a rabid animal, immediately contact your local health unit, doctor, or local emergency department.
  • If a domestic animal has been exposed to an animal that may have rabies, call your veterinarian or the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Agriculture Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300.
  • If an animal is acting strangely or appears to be sick, and neither a human nor pet or livestock have been exposed, contact your municipal animal control department or the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
  • For non-emergencies and information about rabies in wildlife, call the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Rabies Hotline at 1-888-574-6656.

Media Contacts

  • Beverly Stevenson

    Wildlife Research & Monitoring Section


  • Natalie Gorman

    Wildlife Research & Monitoring Section




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