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.
- Make sure that your pets are inoculated against rabies and that their shots are up to date. BY LAW ALL DOGS AND CATS MUST BE VACCINATED AGAINST RABIES.
- Feed pets indoors and keeps them indoors at night. If they are outside during the day, keep them on a leash or fenced in so they cannot wander. Even vaccinated pets can get rabies. Pets allowed to roam freely are more likely to get rabies and bring it into your home.
- Fasten trashcan lids tightly. Garbage attracts animals (like skunks, raccoons and strays) looking for an easy meal.
- Teach your children to avoid wildlife, strays and all other animals they don't know well. Do not let your children roam freely in areas where wild animals live.
- 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 and raccoons out of your home.
- If you have bats in your house, talk to a professional about bat proofing your home.
- 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 or other tools to avoid direct contact.
- Animal Control Officers, veterinarians and their assistants, and others who have a lot of contact with strays or wildlife should think about getting routine rabies vaccinations to protect themselves before they are exposed to the virus.
- Your doctor, nurse, or health center
- Your local Board of Health Listed in the phone directory under local government.
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health Division of Epidemiology 617-522-3700, ext. 420 or ext. 425.

Show All Answers

1. What is rabies?
2. How is rabies spread?
3. How can I tell if an animal is rabid?
4. What should you do if you think you have been exposed to rabies?
5. How can you prevent rabies?