On Friday, August 10, Animal Control picked up the dead bat and sent it to the state lab for testing. There have now been five cases of rabies in the county since January 1.
All pet owners are urged to check the vaccination status of their pets. If pets are not vaccinated or are due for a booster shot, they should be taken to a local veterinarian for rabies vaccination immediately.
The first sign of rabies in animals is a change in behavior. Animals may become aggressive, attacking for no reason, or they may become very quiet. Wild animals can lose their fear of people and act tame. Rabid animals may walk in a circle, drag a leg, or fall over. Some cannot swallow so they are not able to eat or drink and often drool. Animals usually die within a week after first becoming ill.
Avoiding wild animals and keeping your distance from stray dogs and cats is the first step in preventing an animal bite. Any pet, which appears to have been in a fight while outside, should be handled very cautiously and seen by a veterinarian.
If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately wash the wound under running water for at least 10 minutes with lots of soap then seek medical attention or advice.
Also, call Animal Control at (910) 321-6852 Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or call the sheriff's office at (910) 323-1500 after 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays.