“Get your pet vaccinated against rabies now, " says Floyd County Health Department Environmental Health Manager Mike Pitts . "It’s the single best way to protect your pet from rabies,” says Pitts. “It’s important to do it for their protection, for our protection and because it’s state law.”
Pitts notes that Floyd County has had three confirmed cases of animal rabies so far in 2012, one cat and two raccoons, more than any other northwest Georgia county. Floyd led the state last year with fifteen confirmed cases.
“Your pets can be infected when they are bitten by rabid wild animals,” Pitts said. “When ‘spillover’ rabies occurs in domestic animals, the risk to humans is increased. We require pets to be vaccinated against rabies to prevent them from acquiring the disease from wildlife and possibly transmitting it to you,” Pitts said. “The rabies vaccination protects you, too.”
Pitts encouraged people with pets to:
- visit your veterinarian with your pet on a regular basis and keep rabies vaccinations up-to-date for all cats, ferrets, and dogs,
- maintain control of your pets by keeping cats and ferrets indoors and keeping dogs under direct supervision,
- spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or vaccinated regularly and
- call animal control to remove all stray animals from your neighborhood since these animals may be unvaccinated or ill.
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