Rabies

2019 Rabies Clinic

The 2018 Rabies Clinic will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2019, from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm.  It will be held at the Animal Shelter located at 56 Broad Street in Quincy.  The fee is $10.00 per animal (cats or dogs).

 

What is rabies?

Bat

Rabies is a disease of the brain and spinal cord and is caused by a virus. Rabies is a fatal disease. Rabies in humans is very rare in the U.S., but rabies in certain animals - especially wildlife - is common in many parts of the country including Massachusetts

How is rabies spread?

The rabies virus lives in the saliva (spit) and nervous tissues of infected animals and is spread when they bite or scratch. The virus may also be spread if saliva from an infected animal touches broken skin, open wounds or the lining of the mouth, nose or eyes. In caves crowded with many bats, it may be possible to inhale the virus floating on bat saliva in the air.

What kind of animals spread rabies?

Raccoon

The rabies virus can infect any mammal (if it has hair or fur it is a mammal), but is more common among certain ones like bats, skunks, foxes, and raccoons. Cats, dogs and livestock can also get rabies - and spread it to their owners - if they do not have special shots (vaccination) to protect them. Rabies is very rare among small rodents like squirrels, rats, mice and chipmunks. Fish, reptiles (such as snakes, turtles and lizards), amphibians (such as frogs and salamanders) and insects cannot get or spread rabies.

How can you tell if an animal is rabid?

Rabid animals often behave strangely after the virus attacks their brains. Rabid animals may attack people or other animals for no reason, or they may lose their fear of people and seem to be unnaturally friendly. Not all rabid animals act in these ways, however, so you should avoid all wild animals - especially bats, skunks, foxes and raccoons.

How can you prevent 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 official.
  • FoxTeach your children to avoid wildlife, strays, and all other animals they do not know well.
  • Do not handle sick, dead or injured wild animals yourself; call the animal control officer. If you MUST handle the animal, use heavy gloves, sticks or other tools to avoid direct contact.
  • Make sure your pets are vaccinated against rabies and that 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 outsideCat and Dogduring the day, keep them on a leash or fenced in so they cannot wander.
  • Fasten trash can lids tightly. Store trash and garbage in durable covered containers. Garbage can attract wild and domestic animals looking for an easy meal.
  • It is against state law to keep wild animals such as skunks or 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, raccoons and skunks out of your home. If you have bats in your house, talk to a professional about bat proofing your home.

Rabies Q & A facts provided from the Rabies Public Health Fact Sheet written and distributed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Quarantine and Release Orders

The Quincy Health Department is responsible for recording animal bites that occur in the City (cats and dogs or wildlife biting humans, cats and dogs exposed to other domestic animals and cats and dogs exposed to wildlife). Based upon the specifics of the animal bite (whether a human was bitten; whether the animal bitten was vaccinated for rabies; whether the biting animal had been vaccinated, etc.), the health department implements a specific exposure management protocol that involves pet quarantine, rabies testing (in certain cases) and rabies vaccination (usually after quarantine).

Most cases involving cats and dogs (either as the bitten victim or as the biter) require that the Health Department issue a Quarantine Notice for these animals. The times (ranges from ten days to six months) and types of quarantine depend on the vaccination status of the involved animal(s) and other specific facts surrounding the exposure. If you receive a quarantine notice for your pet and have any questions regarding the notice or about your pets release from quarantine, please contact the Health Department at once.  For more information on Quarantine and Release Order, you can contact Bill DeCarli at the Quincy Health Department, at (617) 376-1279.

For more information on rabies:

Visit the State Department of Public Health's DPH Rabies Control site by clicking here.

Visit the State Department of Fisheries and Wildlife site by clicking here.

Visit the Department of Agricultural Resources site by clicking here.