NEWS RELEASE March 21, 2014
CONTACT: Danielle Tate, 972-237-8575, firstname.lastname@example.org
Grand Prairie Encourages Vaccinating Pets After Skunk Tests Positive for Rabies
GRAND PRAIRIE – City officials encourage Grand Prairie residents to protect their pets against rabies after a skunk was found in the city.
The Texas Department of State Health Services Zoonosis Control confirms a skunk removed from the vicinity of Great Southwest Parkway and South Forum Drive in southwest Grand Prairie recently tested positive for rabies. The city’s Animal Services Department reports a city Code Enforcement officer found the skunk in the middle of the day acting disoriented and staggering. Animal Services was summoned to impound the skunk, and it was sent to Austin for testing.
Grand Prairie Animal Services says skunks are usually seen at night, but can be seen during daylight hours. Symptoms of rabid skunks include crusty eyes and noses, disorientation and staggering. Other signs of rabies include excessive salivation and aggressive behavior.
Animal Services asks the public to take the following precautions:
• Vaccinate your dogs, cats and ferrets. Rabies vaccinations are required by city ordinance. Keeping your pets vaccinated protects you and them.
• Keep your pets on a leash so they do not come in contact with wild animals. Seek veterinary assistance if your animal is bitten by a wild animal.
• Avoid contact with wild animals and with dogs and cats you do not know. Do not try to hand-feed wild animals and do not keep them as pets.
• Do not touch sick or injured animals. Report sick or injured animals to Animal Services at 972-237-8575.
Additional information on stopping the spread of rabies can be found at www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/rabies or www.cdc.gov/rabies