In an effort to better inform residents about rabid animals in their communities, Fairfax County Animal Control officers are starting a new door-to-door notification process each time a rabid animal is discovered nearby.
Beginning Sept. 2, officers will knock on doors to alert residents that they should take precautions to protect their family pets from exposure to wildlife when an animal in their neighborhood tested positive for the rabies virus. If no one is home, officers will leave a flyer at the door.
The goal of the new Animal Control Division-sponsored program is to prevent human exposure to rabies through education. Officers remind residents that they should report unusual or suspicious wildlife behavior at 703-691-2131.
As of mid-August, 30 animals tested positive for rabies in Fairfax County. In 2010, there were 50. These animals include raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats and groundhogs, among others.
Rabies vaccinations are mandatory for all cats and dogs that reside in Fairfax County. All dogs four months of age and older must also have a dog license; failure to license your dog or inoculate pets against rabies may result in fines of up to $250.00.
For more information on rabies, visit fairfaxcounty.gov/living/animals or vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/DEE/Rabies.