Prince George County Police Animal Services has issued a public service announcement concerning rabies. Animal Services officers have encountered several suspected cases with wildlife acting more aggressive than usual. There is one confirmed case within the County involving a rabid fox. The cases are not isolated to a specific section or neighborhood.
Rabies is a virus that affects the brain and spinal cord of animals and humans. The rabies virus is spread through a bite or scratch with a rabid animal, and the virus is almost always fatal without intervening treatment.
Exposure to rabies can be prevented by taking these steps:
â— Do not approach, handle, or feed wild or stray animals.
â— Have your dogs, cats, and ferrets vaccinated against rabies and keep the vaccinations up-to date.
â— Do not leave pets outside unattended or allow them to roam free.
â— Cover garbage cans tightly and do not leave pet food outside; this may attract wild and stray animals.
â— Teach children to stay away from wild animals or animals that they do not know.
â— Prevent bats from entering your home by using window screens and chimney caps and by closing any openings greater than ¼ inch by ½ inch. Bats found in the home should be safely collected, if possible, and tested for rabies.
â— Wear gloves when handling an animal if it has been in a fight with another animal. Keep it away from people and other animals and call your veterinarian or local health department to report the animal exposure.
To report abnormal wildlife behavior, call the Prince George Police Non-Emergency Communications Center at (804) 733-2770.