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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bat encounters in the Village

According to the HSV POA, two rabid bats were found in the Village, one in Garland County and one in Saline County. Dr. Sue Weinstein, the state public health veterinarian, said that information is incorrect. There has been only one rabid bat found in the Village, it was in Garland County.

A map of the rabies numbers throughout the state is available at, go to the letter directory, letter r for rabies, and then go to the maps.

Weinstein said if you should encounter a bat; don’t touch it with your bare hands.

She said you have three clear choices, leave the bat alone, catch it in a box or coffee can or call animal control. Choices one and three are the recommended protocol. The phone number for the Village animal control is 922-6547.

Once the bat is caught it will be euthanized and tested for rabies by animal control, the County Health Unit or by a licensed veterinarian.

Weinstein added, the rule of thumb is to keep your pets away from sick animals. Our vaccinated household pets are our line of defense against rabies. Vaccinating dogs and cats against rabies by a licensed veterinarian is the ultimate protection for people.

She also wanted Villagers not to malign all bats. According to Weinstein, bats eat more than their weight in insects. Less than 1% has rabies.

She added, the ones we see on the ground, the ones interacting with people are more likely to be sick.

If animal control is not available, call Village police at 922-0011.

In an average year there are 35 to 40 reported and confirmed cases of rabies reviewed by Dr. Weinstein. As of March 28 there have been 44 confirmed cases in Arkansas.

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