Raccoon Found in Shady Side Tests Positive for Rabies 4-9-24

RABIES ALERT – April 9, 2024 – The Anne Arundel County Department of Health is seeking anyone who may have come in contact with a raccoon on Lee Boulevard, near John Marshall Park in Shady Side, Maryland. The raccoon, which was found on April 5, has tested positive for rabies.

If you or your pet had contact with this infected animal, or your pet has unexplained wounds, please contact the Anne Arundel County Department of Health at 410-222-7254 Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or 443-481-3140 after business hours.

Rabies is spread by the bite or scratch of an infected animal, such as a groundhog, cat, fox, raccoon, skunk or bat. It is also spread when an infected animal’s saliva comes in contact with the eyes, nose, mouth or open cut of a person or another animal.

Preventive treatment might be required for anyone who handled, fed or was attacked by the infected animal. Rabies is a fatal disease, and preventive treatment (injections) must be started as soon as possible. The Department of Health advises county residents to take the following precautions to prevent the spread of rabies:

  • All pets should have current rabies immunizations.
  • Do not allow your pets to run free.
  • Secure outside garbage in covered containers to avoid attracting wild animals.
  • Do not leave pet food outside.
  • Avoid contact with all wildlife, especially feral cats, raccoons, bats, and foxes.
  • If bitten or scratched by a suspected rabid animal, wash the wound immediately with soap and water, seek medical attention. 

Animals that appear sick or injured that have had no human or pet contact can be reported to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) at 877-463-6497 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or the Maryland Natural Resources Police at 410-260-8888 after hours. If you or your pet have had physical contact with an animal that is sick or injured you can contact Anne Arundel County Animal Care and Control during business hours at 410-222-8900 or after hours dial 911 and ask for the on-call officer.

For information about rabies, visit www.aahealth.org/rabies. To get a free fact sheet on rabies, call 410-222-7254.