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Protecting Your Family & Pets

How Can I Protect My Family and Pets From Any Rabies?

You can protect your family and pets from any strain of rabies by observing the following rules:

  • 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.
  • Take measures to discourage wild animals from taking up residence in your home or on your property. For example, cover up potential entrances, such as uncapped chimneys, loose shingles, and openings in attics, roofs and eaves. You may want to contact a professional for advice.
  • 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. It’s illegal and you could be spreading the disease.
  • Do not keep wildlife as pets. It is against the law.
  • Do not touch dead animals. Bury or dispose of them carefully, and make sure pets cannot get at the carcasses.
  • If you find a wild or stray animal that appears to be sick, do not try to nurse the animal to health. Where an animal is in need of help, it requires specialized care to recover and return to the wild.
  • If your own pet is sick, contact your vet immediately.
  • 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 go to your local emergency health care center.

For further information, contact the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit by calling 1-800-660-5853.

Rabies Vaccination Clinics

Rabies vaccinations are mandatory for cats, dogs and ferrets. In some settings some farm animals may also fall under the mandatory rabies vaccination requirement, unless granted an exemption under Regulation 567: Rabies Immunization. Animal rescues and shelters are not exempt from this regulation and therefore are required to have animals in their care and custody immunized against Rabies.

Pre-exposure Vaccine

It is recommended that people working in occupations that are at a higher risk of being bitten or exposed to wildlife; protect themselves by being vaccinated with the pre-exposure vaccine. This group includes:

  • Veterinarians
  • Trappers
  • Animal Control Officers
  • Those working with wildlife and livestock
  • Travellers to countries were rabies is a serious problem

Pre-exposure vaccine is not available through the Health Unit but a with a doctor’s prescription it can be purchased through your pharmacy.

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