The Montgomery County Police Department’s Animal Services Division will be sponsoring five rabies vaccination clinics during 2013. The clinics will be held at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter located at 14645 Rothgeb Drive in Rockville. Each clinic will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will end at 12:00 p.m. (noon) on the following dates:
- Sunday, April 21
- Sunday, May 19
- Sunday, June 16
- Sunday, July 21
- Sunday, August 18
Maryland law requires that all dogs, cats, and ferrets over the age of four months be vaccinated against rabies. Failure to vaccinate an animal as required may subject the owner to a $500 fine. When brought in for vaccination, all dogs must be leashed. Cats and ferrets must be in carriers or otherwise contained.
At the clinics, the rabies vaccinations will be administered by a participating veterinarian at no charge for dogs and cats owned by residents of Montgomery County. There will be a minimal $4.00 charge for ferrets and out of county pets. County residents, as well as residents of the City of Rockville and the City of Gaithersburg, will be required to purchase a pet license if their pet is not currently licensed.
In previous years, rabies cases have been reported in 49 states as well as Puerto Rico. Wild animals traditionally account for 95% of the reported cases in the United States and raccoon rabies is now prevalent in all of the eastern coastal states, including Maryland. The most common carriers of rabies in Maryland include raccoons, foxes, bats, and skunks.
Public health activities, including the vaccination of companion animals, protect pets from the deadly rabies virus and also contribute to a reduction in the transmission of the virus from wild animals to humans. Exposure to rabies can be prevented:
- Have your dogs, cats, and ferrets vaccinated against rabies and keep the vaccinations up to date.
- Avoid sick animals and those acting in an unusual manner.
- Do not approach, touch or feed wild or stray animals.
- Do not allow pets to roam free.
- Teach children to stay away from wild animals or animals they do not know.
- Prevent bats and other wildlife from entering your home by using appropriate window screens and chimney caps.
Those with questions may contact the MCPD Animal Services Division at 240-773-5925.