Rabies is a clear and present danger and we’re seeing far too many cases of pets being exposed to possible infection.
- Be a responsible pet owner. Make sure your pets are neutered (fixed) and vaccinated against rabies. All dogs and cats, by law must be vaccinated against rabies. Cats especially need to be vaccinated because they are hunters by nature and often have contact with animals at high risk for rabies. By vaccinating household pets, we can establish a buffer between wildlife and humans.
- Avoid contact with wild animals, especially bats, skunks, foxes, and raccoons including baby animals. Avoid any animal — wild, farm or domestic — that behaves oddly, and report it to the local Animal Control Officer.
- Discourage wild animals from “sharing your lunch.” Don’t leave pet food or water outside. Fasten trashcan lids tightly. Garbage attracts animals.
- Teach your children to keep a safe distance from wild animals, strays, and all other animals that they don’t know well. Enjoy all wild animals from a distance, even if they seem friendly! A rabid animal sometimes acts tame.
- Dogs and cats must not roam at large, but should be confined to the owner’s property, preferably on a leash or better yet, within a fenced area. It is against the law to allow your dog or a dog in your care to roam. Confinement to the property will lessen the chances of them having contact with a rabid animal.
- If a pet has been in a fight with another animal, wear waterproof gloves while handling the pet. Consult your veterinarian.
- It is against the law to keep wild animals as pets. There are no approved rabies vaccines for wild animals including Hybrids (offspring of wild animals bred with domesticated cats or dogs).
This information is from the Maine Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory. Please visit their website for important information you should print out and share with family members.