Protecting Your Family and Pets from Rabies
There are currently confirmed cases of rabies in raccoons and foxes in parts of southwestern Ontario. The province is actively addressing rabies in these areas, but the following tips will also help keep rabies from spreading, protect people and pets and provide next steps if you encounter 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.
- 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.
- Take measures to discourage wild animals from taking up residence in your home or on your property, including keeping pet food dishes indoors, putting garbage out the day of collection, and closing off entrances under porches and buildings.
- 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 that you, or any member of your family, have been in contact with a rabid animal, immediately contact your local health unit, doctor or emergency department.
- If a pet has been exposed to an animal that may have rabies, avoid touching your pet with bare hands, wear gloves and wash any wounds thoroughly with water and soap if you can do so safely, and contact your veterinarian for advice as soon as possible.
- If an animal is acting strangely or appears to be sick and no people, pets or livestock have been exposed, contact your municipal animal control department or the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
- For non-emergencies and information about our vaccine baits or rabies in wildlife, call Ontario's Rabies Information Line at 1-888-574-6656.