The Texas Department of State Health Services informed the City of Fort Worth on Tuesday afternoon that a wild skunk, located in a residential area near Westheimer Road and Gessner Drive in far north Fort Worth, tested positive for the rabies virus.
The skunk was killed by a family-owned dog in the backyard. Fortunately, the dog is current on rabies vaccinations and was provided additional medical care.
Fort Worth 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 to avoid approaching or handling any free-roaming, unfamiliar animals behaving in an unusual manner.
With the weather becoming warmer, hibernating wildlife start to roam and look for food. The city reminds residents to keep 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 humans if an animal is bitten by a rabid animal. 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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