Dealing with Rabid Animals in Wilton

For comprehensive information on rabies, refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at, the DHHS website at, the New Hampshire State Veterinarian's Office at 603-271-2404, or the New Hampshire Department of Fish & Game at 603-271-3421 or

How can I tell if an animal has rabies?
Rabid animals usually behave strangely. Rabid animals may stagger, appear restless, be aggressive, appear very friendly, or may show no signs of the disease at all. People should not touch or feed wild animals or stray dogs or cats.

If you see a potentially rabid animal, please contact the police department at either (603) 673-1414 or dial 911. Observe the animal from a safe distance. Do not touch it or try to capture it.

What should I do if I think I have been exposed to rabies?
If you have been bitten or scratched by an animal or have had contact with the animal's saliva, brain, or spinal cord into an open wound or your eyes, nose, or mouth, follow these steps:

  • Immediately and thoroughly wash the exposed area for several minutes. Wounds and scratches should be washed with soap and water, and mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth) should be flushed with water.

  • Call your local animal control authority (Wilton Police Department at (603) 673-1414 or Dial 911) to aid in capturing the animal for confinement and observation or testing.

  • After washing, you should contact your health care provider. Describe the type of animal causing the exposure, what part of your body was involved, and the circumstances of the exposure. If indicated, your health care provider may recommend you receive a series of shots. These shots are very effective in protecting you from rabies and have few side effects. One of the shots (Human Rabies Immune Globulin) is injected around the site of the exposure to provide immediate protection while the rabies vaccine is given in the arm muscle. Shots are no longer given in the stomach. A total of 6 shots (5 shots of vaccine and one of Human Rabies Immune Globulin) are given over one month. If you have had rabies vaccine in the past, this treatment will vary. To work best, these shots should be given as soon as possible after the exposure. If the animal has been caught and will be tested for rabies, you can usually wait to see if the shots are needed.

  • If your pet has been bitten or scratched by an animal, put on gloves before touching your pet. Follow the steps above for washing the wound. Contact your veterinarian.


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