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Bat and skunk test positive for rabies in north Fort Worth

Posted April 17, 2018

The Texas Department of State Health Services informed the City of Fort Worth on April 16 that a wild skunk and a bat, both located in residential areas in far north Fort Worth in ZIP codes 76244 and 76131, tested positive for the rabies virus.

In separate incidents, the bat and skunk were engaged with family-owned dogs in backyards. Fortunately, both dogs are current on their rabies vaccinations.

City Animal Care and Control Officers are canvassing the residential areas and leaving informational fliers.

Rabies is a dangerous virus that is transmitted through the saliva of mammals. Anyone can become infected if they handle bats or get bitten by an animal that has the disease. Coming in contact with the smell of the exposed skunk will not cause humans to contract rabies.

Animal control officers urge residents not to approach or attempt to handle any free-roaming, unfamiliar animals behaving in an unusual manner. With the weather becoming warmer, hibernating wildlife are starting to roam and look for food.

The city reminds residents about the importance of keeping vaccinations up-to-date for all dogs, cats and other domestic pets. This requirement is important not only to keep pets from getting rabies, but also to provide a barrier of protection to you if your animal is bitten by a rabid animal. Additionally, residents should consider picking up any dog or cat food and birdseed left outside before nightfall.

To report incidents, contact the city’s customer care call center at 817-392-1234.

Low-cost pet vaccinations

Rabies and other pet vaccinations are available 6-8 p.m. every Tuesday at the Chuck Silcox Animal Shelter, 4900 Martin St. Vaccination fees range from $5 for rabies to $25 for all vaccinations.

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