It’s not a holiday, but it’s a very important day. Rabies isn’t just a “mad dog” you see in movies like “Cujo” or “Old Yeller” or “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It’s a real disease, and it’s deadly. It’s also preventable.
Every year, approximately 55,000 people die of rabies. That’s 55 THOUSAND. In the U.S., we’re lucky – we see only a few deaths each year. If you can call that lucky, that is. That death count should be zero…and that’s why World Rabies Day was created.
Wildlife, such as raccoons and skunks, are sources of rabies. Sure, raccoons are cute…but leave the wild things in the wild and you’ll be safer for it. As for that skunk? Well, the smell could be the least of your worries. Rabies is just one reason why wild animals don’t make good pets.
…and let’s not forget the bat. A mix of creepy and comical, they often get a bad rep. When it comes to rabies, that rep is well earned: bats are the number one source of human cases of rabies in the U.S. What’s so scary about them is that you probably won’t even know if a bat has bitten you because their bites are so small. Don’t handle bats, especially bats that are behaving abnormally.
Simple, common sense measures can protect you from rabies. The simplest one? Get your pet(s) vaccinated! For more information about rabies and World Rabies Day, go to the AVMA’s World Rabies Day page or the World Rabies Day site.