The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry have announced there are currently 76 cases of confirmed raccoon strain and fox strain rabies in parts of southwestern Ontario. It’s important you know what you can do to protect your family and who to call if rabies is suspected! Check out this list from the ministry’s website:
- 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 suspect rabies
- 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.
- For non-emergencies and information about rabies in wildlife, call the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Rabies Hotline at 1-888-574-6656.