Rabies Alert issued in Indian River County
On Sunday, a person was attacked by an adult, short-haired, tri-colored brown cat, according the Health Department. The cat was taken in and tested for rabies, and results came back positive Tuesday.
Anyone in the area who has been scratched or bitten by a cat with this description within the past two weeks should immediately contact the Health Department at 772-226-3486.
The Rabies Alert is for sixty days and includes the following boundaries:
• South of State Route 60 also known as 20th Street
• North of Oslo Road also known as 9th Street SW
• East of 66th Avenue
• West of US Highway 1
“We strongly advise residents not to approach or feed wild and stray animals, and keep their pets vaccinated,” said Miranda Hawker, Indian River County Health Officer.
Health officials urged residents to protect themselves from the risk of exposure by avoiding contact with wild or stray mammals, and to vaccinate their pets.
Here are some tips to protect you and your pets from rabies:
• Persons who have been bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seek medical attention and promptly report exposure to local animal control.
• Do not handle, feed or unintentionally attract wild or stray animals, including cats, by leaving pet food outside or garbage cans open.
• Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
• Do not allow your pets to run free. Follow leash laws by keeping pets secured on your property.
• If your pet is bitten by a wild, stray or unknown animal, seek veterinary assistance immediately and report the incident to your local animal control agency. (See contact information below).
• Call your local animal control agency directly to remove any wild or stray animals from your neighborhood that are injured or demonstrate unusual behavior.
• Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home. Call animal control for assistance rather than trying to nurse injured or sick wild or stray animals.
• Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
• Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools and other similar areas, where they might come in contact with people and pets.
• Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.
• Local animal control agencies in Indian River County coordinate the exposure investigation with the Florida Department of Health in Indian River County.
Animal Control Agency Contact Information:
Indian River County Animal Control: (772) 226-3486
City of Vero Beach Police Department: (772) 978-4600
For further information on rabies, go to the Florida Department of Health website or contact Florida Department of Health in Indian River County at (772) 794-7440.