Here are some tips from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on preventing rabies:

Here are some tips from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on preventing rabies:


· Avoid wild animals, especially bats, skunks, foxes and raccoons. Do not feed or pet strays. Avoid any animal – wild, farm or pet – that you do not know. Report any animal that behaves oddly to your local animal control officer.


· Teach your children to avoid wildlife, strays and all other animals they do not know.


· Do not handle dead, sick or injured wild animals yourself. Call the police or animal control officer. If you must handle the animal, use heavy gloves, sticks of other tools to avoid direct contact.


· Make sure your pets are vaccinated against rabies and their shots are up-to-date. By law, all dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies.


· Feed pets indoors and keep them indoors at night. If they are outside during the day, keep them on a leash or fenced in so they cannot wander. It is possible for vaccinated pets to get rabies. Pets allowed to roam freely are more likely to get rabies and possibly expose people and other pets in your home.


· Fasten trash can lids tightly. Garbage attracts animals looking for an easy meal.


· It is against state law to keep wild animals such as skunks and raccoons as pets. There are no rabies vaccines for most wild species.


· Cap your chimney with screens and block openings in attics, cellars and porches to keep wild animals like bats and raccoons out of your home.


· If you have bats in your house, talk to a professional about bat-proofing your home.


· Animal control officers, veterinarians, their assistants and others who have a lot of contact with strays or wildlife should get routine rabies vaccinations to protect themselves before they are exposed to the virus.


· For more information about rabies, contact the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at 617-983-6800 or toll free at 888-658-2850.


Courtesy of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health