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SALINAS — A bat found on June 7 near Portola Drive and Anza Drive in the Toro Park area of unincorporated Monterey County has tested positive for the rabies virus.

Hitchcock Road Animal Services has investigated this incident and determined that there was no exposure to either humans or pets. This is the second bat this year to test positive for the rabies virus in the Toro Park area.

Rabies is a virus that causes a fatal illness in humans and other mammals. The County of Monterey Public Health Bureau and Hitchcock Road Animal Services want to remind residents and visitors that there is a continuous presence of rabies in local wildlife, both inside and outside of the city. 

In Monterey County, skunks and bats are the most common species to test positive for the virus. Domestic animals, including companion dogs and cats, are at risk for rabies exposure when they come in contact with wildlife. 

“Domestic animals are at increased risk of rabies if they are not protected by a rabies vaccination, and they come into contact with wildlife,” stated the County. “Pet owners are encouraged to visit their veterinarian with their pets on a regular basis and keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all dogs and cats.”

Public health and animal control officials recommend the following precautions:

• Keep your cats and dogs current on their rabies virus vaccinations.

• Owners should avoid leaving their pets outside unattended, particularly at dawn and dusk when wildlife can be most active.

• Owners of domestic livestock species such as horses, sheep, goats, pigs, and cattle should discuss rabies vaccinations with their animals’ veterinarian as these species are also susceptible to rabies infections from rabid wild animals.

• Residents should avoid leaving pet food and water outside because it encourages wildlife activity around the home.

• People should avoid contact with wildlife, particularly skunks and bats at all times. Do not touch or approach animals acting strangely. If any wild animals are found dead, acting abnormally or ill, or if you think you or your pets have been exposed to rabies, please contact your local animal control agency.

More information about rabies is available by calling the County of Monterey Health Department’s Communicable Disease Unit at 831-755-4521, by visiting Hitchcock Road Animal Services’ website or visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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