Vaccination, avoiding wild animals key to rabies prevention

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EUFAULA, AL- A rabid raccoon has been found in Eufaula.  Now health officials are reminding everyone about the importance of keeping pets vaccinated and watching for strange-acting wild animals.

Stacie Irving is an animal lover. Not only is she a pet owner, she also spends her free time volunteering at the Barbour County Humane Society.

“Put it on the calendar. Make sure they [pet owners] mark it every time they have their vaccinations. That way, you don’t lose track,” says Irving.

Irving makes sure she doesn’t forget her animals’ yearly vaccinations.

“The most important thing is they keep the animals protected, but it also helps protect the family as well,” Irving says.

The recent discovery of a rabid raccoon in the Eufaula area has the state reminding everyone that keeping pets vaccinated is very important. Not only does it significantly reduce its chances of contracting rabies if attacked by an infected animal, it’s also required by state law.

There’s another important reminder for animal lovers– avoid wild animals that seem unusually tame or act uncharacteristically.

Corey Kirkland with the Alabama Department of Health says kids need to be told to stay away from wild animals. He says if a wild animal is too friendly, and doesn’t just pass on by, animal control should be called.

Luckily, we know of no reported cases of humans or pets being attacked by rabid animals in the Eufaula area.

It’s important pet owners keep their dogs on leashes so they don’t chase wild animals. Also, be sure to keep trash covered so that your yard doesn’t attract wild animals.

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