Authorized By: Chief Diron Hill
Date: January 22, 2013
Skunk Tests Positive for Rabies In Italy:
Last week, a resident on College Street found that one of his dogs had killed a skunk in his backyard. The resident did not know whether his dog had been bitten by the skunk but his dog had not been vaccinated at the time.
The Italy Police Department currently has a policy that if an animal or human is attacked and bitten by an animal known to carry rabies such as coyotes, skunks, bats, and raccoons, the animal will be euthanized and sent off for rabies testing. In this case, it could not be confirmed whether the dog had been bitten before killing the skunk.
Wild animals can only transmit the rabies virus through saliva in their mouth usually by biting another animal. The virus cannot be transmitted through blood.
For caution, the resident took the skunk to a veterinarian to be sent off for testing in which it was later confirmed to have rabies.
Residents are urged to take precautions to prevent the spread of rabies:
- Residents should keep all domesticated animals inside overnight and have their pets vaccinated yearly.
- Residents should not keep pet food outside as it attracts animals lacking food sources in the wild.
- Residents should contact the Italy Police Department by calling (972)937-6060 if they find a skunk or other nocturnal animal out during daylight hours.
- Livestock owners should watch for signs of rabies with their stock.
The Italy Police Department is committed to the safety of the public and will respond to any situation where an animal is suspected of carrying the rabies virus. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the