Animal Service manager Jamey Cantrell reports that the Plano Animal Shelter had a skunk test positive for rabies this week after it came into contact with a resident’s pet in the area of West Parker Road and Midway Road.

Rabies is a viral disease that occurs in warm-blooded animals and can be contracted by humans through bites from infected animals.

“This positive test highlights the importance of keeping all vaccinations current – especially rabies – since there is no way to predict when a pet may come into contact with a wild animal,” Cantrell said. The State of Texas and the City of Plano require animals to receive the rabies inoculation along with subsequent booster shots.

The Plano Animal Shelter does not routinely test wild animals, unless they have had contact with a person or pet and are one of five high risk non-domestic animals: bats, foxes, skunks, coyotes and raccoons. This particular incident involved a resident’s pet which was up-to-date on the required vaccinations, but will by law, be put in confinement for a minimum of 45 days. The isolation period would be longer had the pets not had the proper immunization.

Rabies is preventable. The Shelter hosts low-cost rabies vaccination clinic on the third Friday of every month. All pet owners are urged to make an appointment, if needed, for your pet’s health and the health of their human family. If pets need shots sooner, a list of reduced-cost vaccination clinics is posted on the city’s Animal Services webpage.

Story courtesy of Wendy Jorgensen