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New Rabies Door-To-Door Notification Plan | Families

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New Rabies Door-To-Door Notification Plan
Families, Pets

 

In an effort to better inform residents about rabid animals in their communities, Animal Control officers are starting a new door-to-door notification process each time a rabid animal is discovered nearby.

Beginning September 2, officers will knock on doors to alert residents that they should take precautions to protect their family pets from exposure to wildlife when an animal in their neighborhood tested positive for the rabies virus. If no one is home, officers will leave a flyer at the door.

The goal of the new Animal Control Division-sponsored program is to prevent human exposure to rabies through education. Officers remind residents that they should report unusual or suspicious wildlife behavior at 703-691-2131. For example, officers recently received a report of a skunk that was making unusually loud noises in the 2700 block of Copper Creek Road in the Herndon area. The skunk went under the complainant’s porch and physically pulled another skunk out and attacked it, repeatedly pouncing on the badly injured body. According to animal control officers, this is not typical of skunk behavior and rabies was strongly suspected, posing a threat to any animal (or resident) that may have been walking outside in that area.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system and kills almost any mammal or human that gets sick from it. The rabies virus is mainly in the saliva of rabid animals and can be transmitted through a bite or by getting saliva in a wound or in the eye or mouth. As of mid-August, 30 animals tested positive for rabies in Fairfax County. In 2010, there were 50. These animals include raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats and groundhogs, among others.

Rabies vaccinations are mandatory for all cats and dogs that reside in Fairfax County.  All dogs four months of age and older must also have a dog license; failure to license your dog or inoculate pets against rabies may result in fines of up to $250.00.

For more information on rabies, visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/animals or www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/DEE/Rabies/.

Families, Pets