- Exposure to an unknown domestic animal (cat, dog, ferret) or wild animal (raccoon, bat, fox, etc.) can carry a risk of rabies, a FATAL disease caused by a virus.
- Exposure can occur from direct contact--a bite or scratch, or from indirect contact--usually through the animal's saliva, open wound or mucous membrane.
If a human has been exposed to a wild or domestic animal, they should:
- Immediately and thoroughly wash and flush the wound with soap and water for several minutes and get prompt medical attention.
- If the animal is a domestic-owned animal, get the owner's name, address, and telephone number.
- Report the incident immediately to the Prince George's County Police Department at (301) 333-4000 or to your local police department.
- If the animal is a wild or stray animal, try to trap the animal without risking any further exposure and contact the Animal Management Division (301) 780-7200 to have the animal picked up.
- In some instances, rabies shots (post-exposure treatment) may be indicated.
If a pet has been exposed to a wild or domestic animal, the owner should:
- Wear gloves before handling the pet to prevent indirect exposure to rabies and wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Contact your veterinarian if the pet needs medical attention and alert them that your pet has had contact (bite, scratch, etc.) with another animal so they can take proper precautions
- Secure the pet away from other animals and people.
- If the other animal is wild or stray, try to trap the animal without risking any further exposure, and contact the Animal Management Division (301) 780-7200 to have the animal picked up. Immediately report the incident to the Animal Management Division and the Health Department at 301-583-3750.
Prince George's County Health Department
Communicable Disease/Vector-Borne Disease Control Program
Cheverly Health Center
3003 Hospital Drive, Suite 1066
Cheverly, MD 20785
Office Phone: 301-583-3757
Main Phone: 301-583-3750