ADPH reports a second case of rabies in wildlife in Ashland


CONTACT:  Dee W. Jones, DVM, (334) 206-5969

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) reports a positive case of rabies in a raccoon in Ashland. This is the second positive animal identified in the past three weeks. The first was a fox found in the same area. The cases are most likely related. 

Both animals have posed significant risk to pets. Samples from both animals are undergoing additional testing. ADPH is working with the county rabies officer to develop a vaccination strategy for animals in the area. The plan will be announced soon.

The ADPH reminds pet owners to keep their animals up to date on rabies vaccine. Wildlife, especially, raccoons, poses a risk of rabies to other animals and humans. The best protection is to keep your animal current on rabies vaccines.

State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Dee Jones said, “Vaccinating your animals against rabies is the best way to keep your pets protected from the deadly virus. Animal vaccinations also help protect people. People are often exposed when the animal first becomes sick and before rabies can be confirmed.”

Alabama law requires all dogs, cats, and ferrets to be vaccinated at 3 months of age and annually unless they receive a three-year rabies vaccine. The first rabies vaccination is only good for one year regardless of which vaccine a pet gets. 

Rabies prevention involves people:

  • Taking precautions with wildlife.
  • Making sure their pets are current on rabies vaccinations.
  • Always reporting an animal bite or other exposures to their medical provider and the ADPH. 

To avoid possible exposures to rabies:

  • Do not let pets run loose, confine pets in a fenced-in area or with a leash.
  • Do not leave uneaten pet food or scraps near your residence.
  • Do not illegally feed or keep wildlife as pets.
  • Do not go near wildlife or domestic animals that are acting in a strange or unusual manner.
  • Caution children not to go near any stray or wild animal, regardless of its behavior.

For more information, visit ADPH's Rabies website.       





County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.