Police department offers tips for disease prevention, safety around wildlife
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TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT | COURTESY PHOTO
Because skunks are active this time of year, the Lampasas Police Department encourages people to have their pets vaccinated to protect them against rabies -- especially if the pets spend any time outdoors.
Because skunks are active this time of year, the Lampasas Police Department encourages people to have their pets vaccinated to protect them against rabies -- especially if the pets spend any time outdoors.

Animal Control Officer Joe Schwartzer was informed Thursday that a skunk found dead in Lampasas tested positive for rabies.

The skunk was found dead in a yard in the 1500 block of Taylor Street. The animal was sent to the Texas Department of State Health Services for testing. This is the first rabid skunk in the city this year, according to Schwartzer.

The Lampasas Police Department encourages anyone who sees an animal that appears to be sick or acting strangely to report it by calling the police department at 512-556-3644. Police officials advise people not to try to handle wildlife -- regardless of whether the animal appears to be healthy or sick -- as it could be infectious. The police department also offered the following tips about avoiding rabies:

• Don’t leave food outdoors, as it attracts wildlife.

• Teach children never to touch wildlife.

• Because skunks are active this time of year, have pets vaccinated to protect them against rabies -- especially if the pets spend any time outdoors.

• Rabies is transmitted through saliva -- typically through bites.

• If bitten, immediately wash the wound with soap and water. Seek medical assistance as soon as possible to determine whether treatment is needed to prevent rabies. Once rabies symptoms begin, the disease is fatal.

• If a pet is bitten, contact a local veterinarian immediately.

• If a person or pet is bitten, contact Schwartzer, the animal control officer, immediately at 512-556-3644.