(ACCOMAC, Va.)— The Eastern Shore Health District in partnership with Eastern Shore Veterinarians announce low cost ($5) rabies vaccination clinics for pets each year in effort to assure that all dogs and cats on the Eastern Shore of Virginia are properly vaccinated and protected against the deadly rabies virus that is now endemic in the wild raccoon population (with spill over into other mammalian species).
Since 1994 when the Mid Atlantic Raccoon Rabies Epidemic reached Accomack County and 1996 when it reached Northampton County, there have been 563 laboratory confirmed rabid animals tested by the Eastern Shore Health District. The total includes 486 raccoons, 43 foxes, 17 cats, 10 skunks, 4 bats, 1 dog, 1 otter, and 1 groundhog (only those animals that exposed persons or pets were tested). The most recent cases of rabies on the Eastern Shore of Virginia occurred December 31, 2015 when 1 raccoon from the Locustville area of Accomack County and 1 raccoon from the Exmore area of Northampton County were laboratory confirmed.
In order to protect yourself, your family and your pets from getting rabies, the Eastern Shore Health District recommends the following:
1.) Keep all pets current on their rabies vaccinations (dogs, cats, ferrets, and livestock).
2.) Keep all pets confined to your own property.
3.) Report all animal bites to humans and pets to the health department and/or the sheriff’s department within 24 hours, as required by law.
4.) Avoid contact with wild animals, stray animals and unfamiliar pets, and teach your
children to do the same.
5.) Report all stray dogs and cats to your local sheriff’s department.
For more information, please visit the Virginia Department of Health website Rabies page: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/Epidemiology/DEE/Rabies/