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Pet Owners: Vaccinate Your Animals against Rabies

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Press Release: City of Baton Rouge

The East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control & Rescue Center is reminding all Dog, Cat & Ferret owners to ensure that their pets are vaccinated against rabies by a licensed Veterinarian and are registered and tagged, after a bat was found to be positive for rabies in the city of Central, in East Baton Rouge Parish.  The ACRC was contacted by the local branch of the State Office of Public Health today. Dr. Gary Balsamo, the State Public Health Veterinarian has had contact with Hilton M. Cole, the Director of the EBRP ACRC.  The bat was observed on the ground by a citizen on Oct. 6th. The bat was found disoriented in a yard during the day and was picked up by a resident.  The resident was fortunately wearing gloves. The resident then called the ACRC who advised them to call the OPH. OPH sent a sanitarian out and testing was conducted. The test results came back positive for Rabies, a fatal disease.  Cole said that pet owners must ensure that all their dogs, cats and ferrets are vaccinated initially at three (3) months of age and then either annually or triennially thereafter. Only a licensed Veterinarian may vaccinate a dog against rabies. Owners are required to place the rabies vaccination tags on their pet’s neck. Cole recommends that people should avoid wildlife, not pick up injured wild animals, obey the parish animal control ordinances, and visit their Veterinarian for all vaccinations annually. Strays or animals acting strangely should also be reported.  Dogs and cats are vaccinated against rabies to form a barrier between humans and wildlife. The wild animals are the reservoir for rabies.

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