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Animal rabies reports continue to grow

147 cases confirmed in Arkansas,16 reported in DeSoto parish.
The number of animal rabies cases continues to grow in DeSoto parish and the Arkansas Department of health is reporting over 147 animal cases in their state.

DeSoto Parish Animal Control has identified 16 rabid animals since last September. Earlier this week a skunk tested positive for rabies and was euthanized. 14 skunks and 2 domestic cats make up the rabies cases in the parish. Animal control officer, Harold Renfro, says the situation is a threat to public health.
 
"It does get a little bit concerning when you start getting above that, particularly in DeSoto parish where we haven't had rabies in the last 25 years," says Renfro.

In Arkansas positive rabies tests have been reported in bats and skunks in Miller, Lafayette and Howard counties. In Texas positive tests have reached as far northeast as Bowie and Red River counties.

Local Veterinarian, Dr. Virginia Brookings, says your pets are the link between you and rabid animals and rabies vaccination is not only important but the law. 

"It takes almost a month for that rabies vaccine to kick in, in your pet, and if your pet is not vaccinated you're at risk" Brookings says. She also recommends keeping animals inside as much as possible and not leaving food outdoors for your pets as that can draw wild animals into your yard.

For more information on how to keep your pets protected you can visit the Centers for Disease control and Prevention website or contact the Brookings Animal Hospital.

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