WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — City officials have confirmed the second positive case of rabies in 2023 after a pet dog was seen playing with a rabid bat.
The Local Rabies Control Authority was notified on Thursday, September 21, 2023, that a bat sent to the Texas Department of State Health Services, or DSHS, tested positive for rabies.
According to a press release from the City of Wichita Falls, the bat was picked up from a local veterinarian after a resident discovered their pet dog playing with the bat in the Inglewood subdivision near Lucy Park.
According to city officials, the dog will remain isolated, as state law requires.
According to animal services, while most wild animals are not infected with rabies, residents should know that any exposure to wild animals, alive or dead, can be potentially dangerous. In particular, the city warns residents should avoid wild bats, raccoons, skunks, coyotes and foxes as they are the primary rabies carriers in the state.
To reduce the risk of rabies infections, Animal Services recommends that all pets be kept up-to-date on their vaccinations and away from wild animals, even if they appear friendly.
Animal Services has also urged all individuals to securely cover garbage cans and avoid any activities that may attract wild animals to neighborhoods.
Additionally, all residents are strongly encouraged not to adopt “free” animals, especially puppies and kittens being sold in parking lots.
Contact a physician or the Wichita County Public Health District for immediate assistance if someone has been bitten or scratched by an unfamiliar or wild animal.
To make a report on a potentially rabid animal, call the City of Wichita Falls Animal Services Center at (940) 761-7824.