Bat tests positive for rabies

Columbia County reported its sixth rabies case of 2009 today after a bat that came in contact with two un-vaccinated puppies tested positive for the disease.

“Since January of this year, we have already had six confirmed cases of rabies in Columbia County: three raccoons, two foxes, and one bat,” said Emergency Services director Pam Tucker. “The results for the bat just came back today.”

The rabid bat was found dead beneath a toy that was being used by two puppies, whose owner was concerned enough to quarantine the animals at the county Animal Control office, Mrs. Tucker said. The positive confirmation of rabies in the bat leaves the dogs' future in question.

"Since the puppies had not had their rabies shots, the owner is now considering her options regarding whether the puppies will be euthanized, quarantined at a veterinarian’s office for six months, or building a special kennel to quarantine at her residence," Mrs. Tucker said.

During 2008, the county confirmed a record 12 rabies cases involving eight raccoons, two bats, one coyote and one fox.

Pet owners, she added, should make sure their pets are current on all vaccinations.

Local rescue groups are holding the following rabies clinics in May:

Heartsong Animal Rescue

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

At SuperPetz. Cost is $5.

Heartsong Spay-Neuter Clinic

Saturday, May 23, 9 a.m. to noon.

At Heartsong Spay-Neuter Clinic

The cost is $5 per animal

Columbia County Humane Society

Saturday, May 30, 1-2:30 p.m.

At Dogwood Park Spay-Neuter Clinic

6100 Columbia Road

Two veterinarians will administer free vaccinations to the first 200 pets.

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