Huron Health Officials Say Rabies Vaccinations Essential

The Huron County Health Unit is encouraging animal owners to supervise their pets and vaccinate them against rabies.

Health Inspector Patrick Landry says rabies is on the rise in Ontario, with two recent cases in neighbouring Perth County.

In the last six months, rabies was confirmed in a skunk and a cow in Perth County, but the cases were unrelated to the over 90 rabid raccoons and skunks found in Hamilton, Niagara and Haldimand-Norfolk since December.

“A pet owner’s first line of defense is to vaccinate your pet against rabies,” says Public Health Inspector Patrick Landry. “This protects your pet and your family if your pet comes into contact with a rabid animal.”

Rabies vaccination is mandatory for cats, dogs and some classes of horses in Huron County.

People are at risk of contracting rabies if they or their animals contact infected wild animals, and once symptoms appear, rabies is almost always fatal.

If you are exposed through a bit or scratch you should wash the wound and immediately call your doctor.

Don’t allow pets to roam free, and avoid wild animals.

As soon as you can, call the Health Unit at 1-519-482-3416 or after hours at 519-482-7077 to report the incident.

If you suspect one of your animals may have come into contact with a rabid animal, contact your veterinarian or the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs/Agriculture Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300. If you see an animal that you think may be rabid, contact your local Animal Control Officer.

For more information, visit huronhealthunit.ca/rabies.