Kerr County officials have confirmed the first documented case of rabies in a wild animal in 2022, the specimen of a raccoon discovered by a homeowner’s dog in the Mountain Home area. The specimen was collected on January 11 and sent off for testing.
KCAS reported the lab’s results determined the specimen was a positive result, as is the law, after deeming the specimen untestable due to being destroyed. According to Kerr County Animal Services Director Reagan Givens, “The reason we must declare the specimen as positive is because the law errs on the side of safety. Wild animals that have rabies can be a danger to humans, not to mention their family pets. Please make sure your pets are up to date on their vaccinations against rabies.”
Residents are reminded that they have a responsibility to their pets to have them vaccinated, and that state law requires pet owners must have a dog or cat vaccinated against the disease by the time the pet reaches four months old. The vaccines then must be given at least once every three years.
Pet owners must retain the official vaccinations certificate furnished by the veterinarian, and it must include the owner’s name, address and telephone number, as well as identifying information about the animal, including species, sex, age, weight, breed and color.
Anyone who sees a wild animal or stray dogs and cats is asked to refrain from feeding them or making close contact with them. Suspected cases of rabies may be reported by calling (830) 257-3100. In all of 2021, there were nine cases of rabies – the first of which was not confirmed until the end of March, 2021.