Rabid Bat Found in Watsonville | News
By Jasmine Viel - email
WATSONVILLE, Calif.- Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter and Santa Cruz County Public Health Department Communicable Disease Unit are advising residents to be careful coming in contact with bats and other wild animals after a bat tested positive for rabies in the City of Watsonville.On May 3, an animal control officer picked up a sick bat in the 500 block of East Beach Street in the City of Watsonville. The officer euthanized the bat and the bat was sent to rabies testing with the County Health Department. At this time it does not appear that the bat came in contact with any humans or domestic animals. Field Services Manager Todd Stosuy stated in a news release, "Residents should be aware that rabies exists in the local bat population and should take all precautions to avoid contact with bats. Should you come across a dead or injured bat or a bat that is behaving unusually, do not touch it." You can notify the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter at 831-454-7303. Anyone who has had recent direct contact with a bat in the East Beach Street vicinity of Watsonville should contact his or her usual health care provider about the possible need for rabies post-exposure treatment. Children should be warned not to handle dead bats and to avoid any wild animals including bats and skunks. Pets are also at risk for rabies. Be certain your dog or cat is up to date on their rabies vaccine. If you find your pet playing with an injured or a wild animal, notify your veterinarian and Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter immediately. The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter is hosting a "Healthy Dogs Shots Fair" from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Ramsay Park Baseball Field, 1301 Main Street in Watsonville. Dogs will receive FREE rabies shots, FREE distemper/parvovirus shots, $10 microchips (includes registration) and information on low-cost ($20) spay or neuter options. Participant dogs must reside in Santa Cruz County (includes all cities). Dogs must be 4 months of age to receive a rabies shot and 2 months of age to receive a distemper/parvovirus shot. All dogs must be on a leash. Services will be provided on a first come, first served basis. Residents with questions on rabies should call the Public Health Department Communicable Disease Unit at (831) 454-4114.