Kerr County Animal Services Director Reagan Givens announced Wednesday that the 9th case of rabies of 2021 has been confirmed in the county. Givens said his department received a report on October 21 that a raccoon had come into contact with a property owner’s dog on Laurel Way, which is located off of TX-27, southeast of Kerrville.
A KCSO officer picked up the specimen the same day and sent it in for testing on Monday, October 25. A zoological lab confirmed the raccoon had tested positive for rabies. The homeowner was notified of the test results and informed of the necessary protocol that is to be followed after a pet comes into contact with a rabid animal.
Any dog or cat that is bitten or comes into contact with an animal that later tests positive for rabies is, according to Texas law, to be humanely euthanized. Givens says that most pet owners are unwilling to do that, and the law makes other provisions that must be followed strictly.
A vaccinated pet that has been exposed to rabies should be revaccinated immediately and restrained/confined for a period of 45 days. If the pet has not been vaccinated, it should receive a shot immediately and placed in strict isolation for 90 days, with booster rabies vaccinations in the third and eighth weeks of isolation.
Givens urges all pet owners to make sure their pets are up to date on their rabies vaccinations. He also wants to remind citizens not to put food out for stray animals or attempt to touch any wild animals, even if they appear tame.
Anyone who witnesses an animal acting strangely is to make note of its behavior and location before calling the Kerr County Animal Services at (830) 257-3100. If calling after business hours, citizens are asked to contact the Kerr County Sheriff’s Department at (830) 896-1216.
In all of 2020, there were four rabies cases reported in Kerr County.