BURLESON _Two skunks that were discovered within the city limits of Burleson in the last two weeks have tested positive for rabies and officials warned residents to be alert.
Officials said one of the best prevention for pets not be infected is having them vaccinated against the disease.
Last year, seven skunks in Johnson County reported positive for rabies, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The first skunk was found Jan. 29 on Lynwood Ave. where dogs had killed the animal The two dogs are in a 45-day home isolation. On Wednesday, an animal control officer captured a skunk that was running loose on Wilshire Boulevard/Texas 174. There was no known contact with another animal or person.
High-risk animals for rabies in Texas are skunks, bats, raccoons, foxes and coyotes. Rabbits, hares and small rodents such as squirrels, rats, mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils and chipmunks are rarely found to be infected with rabies and have not been known to cause rabies in humans in the United States. Dogs, cats, horses and cattle are the most frequently reported rabid domestic animals in Texas.
State law requires that you have your dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies by a veterinarian at 4 months of age.
Officials offered these tips:
Keep cats and ferrets indoors and keep dogs indoors or in a fenced yard.
Spay or neuter pets to prevent unwanted animals that may not receive proper care from visiting your animals.
Teach children not to play with any animal that they do not know, even if the animal seems friendly.
Avoid animals, both domestic and wild, that appear disoriented, fearless or aggressive. Nighttime animals such as bats, raccoons and skunks that are active in the daytime may be sick.
Don’t attract wild animals to your yard. Avoid leaving pet food outdoors, and keep garbage in closed containers.
Stay away from wild animals, and never keep a wild animal as a pet.
Have domestic ferrets, wolf-dog hybrids and livestock, especially those that are in frequent contact with humans, vaccinated against rabies.
Do not touch any wild animal that appears ill or dead. If you live inside the city limits of Burleson, call Burleson Animal Services at 817-426-9283.
_ Domingo Ramirez Jr.