HAMILTON , ON – July 9, 2015 – Hamilton residents are reminded to protect themselves and their children by staying clear of wild animals.

Yesterday, Public Health Services, received confirmation of the first positive rabid bat for 2015. In the previous five years Hamilton has had confirmation of eight rabid bats that may have come in contact with people (2 in 2014; 1 in 2013; 0 in 2012, 4 in 2011; and 1 in 2010). Also, there has been a significant rise in the number of raccoon bites reported to Public Health Services. Animal Services in Hamilton is also seeing an increase of people interacting with raccoons this season. This is particularly concerning as many raccoons may be sick with distemper.

Wild animals, or even stray or feral cats and dogs may carry rabies, distemper or other diseases that can be transferred to humans. Residents are urged to stay safe and avoid contact with unknown and wild animals. You can also discourage them from being on your property by not providing food sources such as unsecured compost, organics, or garbage, or pet food.

Injured or sick wildlife or wildlife that pose an immediate danger should be reported to Animal Services at 905-573-3433. Do not attempt to handle the animal.

All animal bites, scratches and possible rabies exposures should be reported to Public Health Services at 905-546-2489 for investigation

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