Rabies in wildlife continues to pose risk to pets, people

Sutter Creek, CA May 5, 2017 – Amador County Public Health and Animal Control Departments remind residents that rabies in wildlife continues to pose a risk to pets and people. In April 2017, a dog tested positive for rabies after contact with a skunk. The dog did not have current vaccination to provide protection from the rabies virus. Due to contact with this animal, multiple people are being treated with post-exposure prophylaxis as a preventative measure. These individuals have NOT tested positive for rabies.

“Rabies vaccinations and awareness are the best defense,” states Kelly Reason, Amador County Animal Control Director. “Owners need to remember the importance of having their pets vaccinated and to follow-up with required boosters as recommended by their veterinarian to keep their pets and families safe.” Indoor animals should also receive this vaccine as bats can be discovered by pets in the home.

In addition to vaccination, there are several things Amador residents can do to protect themselves and their pets:

– Avoid contact with wildlife and animals you do not know. If you or your pets have contact with wildlife, contact Animal Control.

–  If you are bitten:
o Wash the bite thoroughly with soap and water.
o Seek medical attention.
o Contact Amador County Animal Control, so the wildlife can be tested.

– Contact Animal Control and your veterinarian if your pet was exposed to a skunk, bat, raccoon or other wildlife.

–  If a bat is inside your home, do NOT let it out. Close off the room to confine it and contact Animal Control for testing.

The next Amador County rabies clinic will be held on May 18, 2017 at Pine Grove Market from 6 pm to 7 pm. Two additional clinics will be held: May 25, 2017 at the Fair Grounds in Plymouth from 6 pm to 7 pm and June 8, 2017 at Howard Park in Ione from 6 pm to 7pm.

Rabies is a deadly disease that kills both animals and humans. The rabies virus is almost always fatal. The only treatment is prevention. In California, bats, skunks, raccoons and foxes are the most frequent carriers of rabies. For more information on rabies and pet vaccination, contact your veterinarian or Amador County Animal Control at (209) 223-6378.