BARTON COUNTY — Authorities are investigating and alerting the public after a skunk tested positive following an animal to animal exposure near the rural Barton County community of Heizer earlier this month, according to a social media report from the Golden Belt Humane Society.
"All necessary precautions have been taken, but we wanted to make sure folks knew rabies is in the area."
"In 2019, several skunks and a cat in The City of Great and Barton County tested positive for the rabies virus in which some were caused by animal to animal exposure and some caused by animal to human exposure
We have definitely seen an increase of positive cases due to exposures or even viewing rabid and abnormal behaviors of skunks. Raccoons, fox and bats are other known carriers of the virus as well, but we are seeing more skunks as the culprits more so in our area.
Exposures are costly, rather it be your animal spending 10 days to 6 months in quarantine, the medical bills associated if a human was bitten, and the list doesn't stop there. Owners sometimes opt to quarantine their animals, others make the hard decision to euthanize due to severity of the bite and/or the costs of quarantining the animal/s. It's not an easy decision, but it is choice we have as pet owners when it comes to vaccinating our pets as required.
When any animal bites, there is a standard protocol in which to investigate the bite. Animal bites are reported not only locals hospitals, emergency rooms or family doctors offices, but they are also reported to law enforcement, Animal Control, the pet owners veterinary doctor, Barton County Health Department and Kansas Department Health and Environment.These protocols are put in place for the public's safety and educate why rabies vaccines for our pets are required. Bites can happen anywhere, anytime and it is best to be prepared as our ordinances and resolutions require.
Remember, most veterinary clinics send our reminders of when vaccinations are due. If you are in question about your pets, give your vet a call. A $15.00 vaccine can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the future if your pet has been exposed, or if your pet causes a potential exposure to other animals or humans. Talk with your vet if you have more questions about the rabies virus, or you can find more information here http://www.kdheks.gov/epi/human_animal_health.htm.
For The City of Great Bend, Chapter 6.08.20 and 6.08.30 is where you find the information on the requirement for the rabies vaccines.
For Barton County, unincorporated areas, you may find more information here... https://www.bartoncounty.org/…/Animal%20Vaccinations%202018…
Please, help keep your pets safer and get them vaccinated as required."