A third raccoon in a week has been confirmed positive for rabies within the city limits of Kerrville, making it the 8th case of rabies for Kerr County this year.
Kerr County Animal Services Director Reagan Givens said his department received a report on September 23 of a raccoon that was discovered in an owner’s yard on West Water Street. An animal control officer recovered the animal, stored it in the refrigerator, and then sent the specimen to the zoology lab for analysis on Monday, September 27.
“We just learned this morning (September 29) that the animal was indeed infected with rabies,” Givens said. “In addition, our service was informed that the raccoon had come into contact with the owner’s dog, so we had to alert them of the necessary protocol afterwards.”
“If your dog (or cat) is bitten or simply comes into contact with an animal that will later test positive for rabies, Texas law states that the animal must be humanely euthanized. Since most of the time pet owners don’t want to end the life of their dog or cat, the law also provides for an alternative scenario, but it must be followed exactly, ”said Givens.
This protocol stipulates that:
• If the dog or cat exposed to rabies is currently vaccinated against rabies, it should be revaccinated immediately and immobilized / confined for a period of 45 days.
• If the exposed animal has not been vaccinated, it should be immediately vaccinated and placed in strict isolation for 90 days, with rabies vaccination boosters during the third and eighth weeks of isolation.
“This should be a wake-up call to any pet owner who thinks that they, their children and their pets are isolated from the risk of rabies exposure simply because they don’t live in the area. country. This raccoon was on West Water Street – in the middle of Kerrville, inside the city limits, ”Givens pointed out. “Keep in mind that rabies is a very terrible, neurological and potentially fatal disease that can be passed to humans from their own pets, and it can happen when and where you least expect it.”
Anyone who sees an animal acting strangely – whether it is a wild animal or a stray cat or dog – is encouraged to note its behavior, the location of the animal, the direction in which he’s heading if he’s on the move and relay that information in a call to Kerr County Animal Services at 830-257-3100 or, if after hours, to the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office at 830-896- 1216.
“Please make sure your animals are vaccinated against rabies. And, while contact can happen anywhere, in a rural area or in a city, it’s best to minimize your risk, ”Givens said. There are 2 main steps people can take, he added, listing: 1.) Never touch unfamiliar animals, and, 2.) Never put pet food near you. or your company.
The other two rabies positive raccoons in Kerr County were collected on September 21 and 22 and confirmed on Friday September 24. Both were also discovered in residential yards in Kerrville.
This 8th case of rabies in Kerr County officially doubles the total of 4 counts from last year.