CDC: 1-year-old bulldog initially tested positive for rabies was in fact not rabid

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Health (DOH) says they learned today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (DCC) on Wednesday that a bulldog that initially tested positive for rabies was in fact not rabid.

The Department of Health says they conducted its own test of the dog after learning that it tested positive for rabies and sent the test sample to the CDC for confirmation.

DOH says the CDC results were negative.

On Tuesday, the Department of Health said they were investigating a case of rabies in a pet dog who died back on July 20th from rabies and was properly vaccinated.

They contacted everyone who may have had contact or had a dog that may have had contact with the rabid dog between June 30th and July 20th.

DogMa, a doggy day care in Southeast D.C., said the 1-year-old bulldog, Fred, was boarded in their facility between the 14th and 17th of July but was not showing any symptoms.

They worked with the DOH to notify the 70 to 75 dog owners that had dogs in the facility at the time Fred was there.

"It was a very sad and scary experience for everybody," said Elizabeth Aldrich, general manager, who also had to get a rabies vaccination along with other staff. "There's nothing DogMa, or to be clear, Fred's family could have done any better."

The DOH also offered free rabies vaccinations outside the daycare all day on Tuesday and Wednesday.


Anyone who began rabies vaccinations based on the initial test results is now not at risk of rabies, according to DOH, and should stop the vaccination series.

They say it will not cause harm to stop the series.

District residents seeking information about rabies can email DOH at or call 202-442-9143 during business hours.

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