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City urging residents to avoid exposure to rabies by avoiding contact with wild animals

HAMILTON, ON – Hamilton residents are reminded to protect themselves and their children by staying clear of wild animals, even the cute babies. Hamilton has had over 291 reports of rabid animals since our raccoon rabies outbreak started. Without immediate prophylaxis treatment, rabies is fatal once symptoms appear in people and animals.

Hamilton has seen a significant rise in the number of reported raccoon exposures due to the public interacting with baby raccoons and other wildlife. There have been 54 cases of human and wildlife incidents already this year. Hamilton Animal Services is also seeing an increase in calls due to the public interacting with young raccoons this season. This is particularly concerning as we are in a raccoon rabies outbreak.

This time of year, young wildlife may be seen without their mothers but residents should not interfere with the natural weaning process of wildlife, as it is essential to their survival.

Wild animals, or even stray or feral cats and dogs may carry rabies and other diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Residents are urged to stay safe and avoid contact with unknown and wild animals. You can also discourage them from being on your property by not providing food sources such as unsecured compost, organics, or garbage, or pet food.

Injured or sick wildlife or wildlife that poses an immediate danger should be reported to Animal Services at 905-546-2489. Do not attempt to handle the animals, even if they are cute.

All animal bites, scratches and possible rabies exposures should be reported to Public Health Services at 905-546-2489 for investigation.