Animal Services Director Jamey Cantrell reports that the Plano Animal Shelter had a skunk test positive for rabies this week after it was observed exhibiting strange behavior on a fairway at The Club at Los Rios. This golf course is located just east of Los Rios Blvd. between Park Blvd. and 14th St. and connects to both Bob Woodruff Park and Pecan Hollow Golf Course.
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,” says Cantrell. Both State of Texas and Plano city ordinances require that animals 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 no known contact, but due to the number of people who live and play in the area and the behavior of this skunk, testing was done as a precaution.
Rabies is preventable. The Shelter will be hosting low-cost rabies vaccination clinics on March 17th, 25th, and April 1st, and all pet-owners are urged to update their vaccinations if needed for their pet’s health and the health of their human family. More information about these clinics, as well as a list of reduced cost vaccination options, can be found on the city’s Animal Services webpage.