Rabies is a virus that can affect both domesticated (dogs and cats) and non-domesticated animals (groundhogs, skunks, cows, bats, opossums, etc.). Fish, snakes, lizards, and birds cannot carry or get the rabies virus. The rabies virus is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal. You cannot get rabies from blood, skunk spray, urine, feces, or from petting an infected animal.
Who to Contact
Animal Control: to report bites and collect specimens
During regular business hours (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 11 a.m.), call 301-600-1544
Afterhours, weekends, and holidays: call 301-600-1603
Environmental Health: for general rabies questions
During regular business hours (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.), call 301-600-1717
After hours, weekends, and holidays: call 301-600-0311 to reach the Frederick County Communications Center, and they will contact the Environmental Health supervisor on call regarding the emergency
Community Health Services: for questions about human exposure/bites
During regular business hours (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.), call 301-600-3342
Rabies Signs in Animals
Symptoms of Rabid Animals (may exhibit multiple symptoms or have only 1):
Foaming at the mouth
Daytime activity in nocturnal animals (e.g. raccoon attacking a dog during the day)
The only way to fully protect your pets is to ensure that they are currently vaccinated. The Health Department offers rabies vaccination clinics for cats, dogs, and ferrets 3 months of age and older. For more information and a list of dates, please view our 2019 Health Department Rabies Clinics Flyer or call 301-600-1717.