Raccoons and Rabies in Montgomery County

On July 2, 2014 a resident in the 200 block of East Deer Park Drive in Gaithersburg called the Montgomery County Animal Control to report that a raccoon had died after getting into an altercation with their two pet dogs. Even though rabies is most common in wildlife (92% of all rabies cases reported in Maryland in 2013’ were wildlife), rabies can be passed on to a domestic animal such as a dog if the dog is bitten by a rabid wild animal.

Montgomery County had 33 rabies cases in 2013’ and 19 of them were raccoons. Raccoons are very populated in Montgomery County. Each year hundreds of residents in cities like Rockville, Potomac and Bethesda report they have raccoons living in the attic or raccoons living in the chimneys. A raccoon living in the attic usually doesn’t have far to go for a food source. About a quarter of the one million residents that live in Montgomery County don’t always secure their trash allowing wild animals like raccoons to thrive in an endless supply of food. Other food sources for raccoons include bird seed, pet food left out in the yard. For more information on raccoon control or raccoon removal, please contact a Montgomery County Wildlife Control expert at 202-557-1443 or 240-599-6815. For more information about preventing rabies in animals please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/prevention/animals.html . If you or your pet have had any contact with wildlife such as a raccoon or bat it is important to contact the Montgomery County Health Department at 240-777-1755. The Montgomery County Police Department is sponsoring a rabies vaccination clinic for dogs, cats and ferrets on July 20th, August 17th, September 21st, and October 19th. The clinics will be located at the Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center at 7315 Muncaster Mill Road, Derwood, MD 20855. The city of Rockville will also have pet licenses available at the clinic. If you would like more information about the rabies clinic please call 240-314-8930.

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