[su_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/0jF7Y982Pjw”] [su_expand more_text=”Show More”] Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus.  The rabies virus is found in the saliva and brain tissue of infected (rabid) animals.  The rabies virus does not live in the blood of animals. Rabies can be spread from animal to animal, or animal to human.  Rabies is spread when the saliva or brain tissue of an infected (rabid) animal gets in the mouth, the eyes, or an open cut.  Rabies is most often spread to animals and humans through a bite from an infected animal. Rabies is carried mainly by wild animals like raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats. Humans, dogs, and cats can also get rabies.  Squirrels, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, chipmunks, rats, mice, and rabbits usually do not get rabies.  Rabid animals may act tame, or may display strange or unusual behavior such as aggressiveness, avoiding food and water, foaming at the mouth, or difficulty moving.  Stay away from any strange animals, especially wildlife.   Report any unusual acting animal to your County Animal Control office.  If another animal bites your pet call your County Animal Control office or your Veterinarian right away.  They will tell you what to do. If you are bitten by an animal, wash the area with warm, soapy water and call the GPC immediately. Tips to Prevent Rabies:

  • Keep pet’s rabies shots up-to-date. By Georgia law, dogs, cats, and ferrets must get a rabies vaccine when they are 3 months old and every year after that.  Call your veterinarian for more details on rabies shots for your pets.
  • Keep pets indoors, in a fenced yard, or on a leash when outdoors at all times
  • Do not leave uncovered garbage or pet food outside. Food that is left out may attract wild or stray animal.
  • Stay away from wild, sick, hurt, or dead animals. Do not pick up or move sick or hurt animals.  If you find a wild, sick, or hurt animal, call your County Animal Control office.
  • Do not keep wild animals like raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, and wolves as pets. It is dangerous and also illegal.
  • Teach your children not to go near, tease, or play with wild animals or strange dogs and cats
  • Call the GPC at 1-800-222-1222 with any rabies question