Talbot County Department of Health
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Animals & Rabies

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Response & Contact

The Office of Environmental Health is responsible for investigating animal bites, potential human and animal rabies exposure, and providing information to animal control and wildlife agencies to assist them in the capture and quarantine of potentially rabid domestic animals, livestock, and wildlife.

Any person who has been bitten, or who has a pet or livestock animal that has been bitten, by a potentially rabid animal or animal of unknown rabies status must report contact immediately to the Office of Environmental Health. The staff of the Office of Environmental Health will investigate the circumstances of the incident as required by State laws and regulations. 

Any person having knowledge of any animal known or suspected of having rabies, or exposed to an animal known to have or suspected of having rabies must immediately contact the Office of Environmental Health.

Report Rabies Exposure 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week:

Office of Environmental Health: (410) 770-6880
During business hours, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Talbot County Operations Center: (410) 822-0095
After hours and on weekends. TCOC will receive the call and dispatch the Environmental Health staff person on call.

For assistance with a stray domestic animal that may be exhibiting signs of rabies, contact:

Talbot Humane (Animal Control): (410) 822-0107
During business hours

Talbot County Operations Center: (410) 822-0095
After hours and on weekends. TCOC will receive the call and dispatch the Animal Control Officer on call.

For assistance with wildlife that may be exhibiting signs of rabies, contact:

Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wye Mills Field Office: (410) 827-8612, Extension 105
John Moulis, Eastern Regional Manager
P.O. Box 68
Wye Mills, Maryland 21679

USDA Wildlife Services: 1-877-463-6497

Potential Rabies Exposure

Rabies is a serious, but preventable viral disease that attacks the nervous system. It is predominantly seen in raccoons, foxes, and bats, as well as dogs and cats (domestic animals). Talbot County residents are reminded that all wild or unknown animals must be avoided whenever possible since the possibility of exposure to rabies can occur anywhere and at any time.  

It is important to know that if you wake up to a bat in your room, this is considered a rabies exposure, even if you are not sure you have had contact with the bat. Bat bites are very small and cannot be easily seen or felt. Therefore, if you have been sleeping in the same room where a bat is found, you are considered to have been exposed to rabies. Contact Environmental Health immediately.   

An exposure can mean contamination of open wounds, abrasions, mucous membranes, or scratches by potentially contaminated with infectious material from a rabid animal or any penetration of the skin by teeth constitutes a bite exposure. All bites by a wild animal represent a potential risk of rabies transmission, but that risk varies with the species of biting animal, the site of the bite, and the severity of the wound.

Rabies Prevention

Each person who owns or keeps a dog, cat, or ferret that is four months old or older is required by law to have the dog, cat, or ferret vaccinated against rabies.

The Talbot County Office of Environmental Health provides several annual anti-​rabies clinics for dogs, cats, and ferrets over 4 months of age. These clinics provide low-cost rabies vaccinations and are provided at various locations throughout the county in the Spring, Summer and Fall. 

Contact the Office of Environmental Health at (410) 770-6880 for information regarding upcoming anti-rabies​ clinics or view scheduled clinics on our Events Calendar.