Kerr County notified that skunk is its 12th case of rabies for 2024

Rabies 1716229792

A 12th case of rabies has been confirmed in Kerr County – this time in a skunk killed by a family’s pets inside Kerrville’s city limits.

Kerr County Animal Services Director Reagan Givens said his department received a call on Wednesday, May 15, that a skunk had been killed by family pets at a residence on Thurman Street.

An animal control officer was dispatched to the scene, collected the specimen and preserved it for testing. The sample was sent on May 16, and the report that the skunk was infected with rabies came back positive on Saturday, May 18.

“You never know when a wild animal will visit,” Givens said. “We’ve had several different species test positive for rabies this year and they have shown up not only in the rural parts of the county, but on our city streets, as well.”

Anyone who notices an animal behaving abnormally is asked to call in its physical description, its exact location and which direction it may be heading to the KCAS office at 830-257-3100.

“Also, we discourage you from attempting to feed or having any contact with wildlife, including stray cats and dogs,” he said. “Please make sure your family pets are current on their vaccines.”

Since the family pets had exposure to the rabid skunk, they must follow a strict protocol. According to Texas law, if a cat or dog is bitten or has made contact with an animal confirmed to be rabid, then that pet should be euthanized, Givens said. “Most pet owners are unwilling to do that, so they then must follow a protocol dictated by whether the pet’s rabies vaccinations were current at the time of exposure,” he added.

If the pet has been previously vaccinated against rabies, then they should be revaccinated immediately and restrained or confined for a period of 45 days. If the exposed pet has not been previously vaccinated against rabies, then it should be vaccinated immediately and placed into solitary confinement for 90 days, with booster shots given in the third and eighth weeks of isolation.

In this instance, the two family dogs involved were current on their vaccinations.