Please make sure to vaccinate your pets. Wildlife can carry many different diseases (and parasites) that may affect household pets or even humans. We recently received a bat intake that encountered an unvaccinated dog. Due to the fact that the dog was not vaccinated, we were advised to humanely euthanize this healthy bat in order to have it tested for rabies. While we understand that human safety was the most important factor with this case, we are disappointed in this outcome and this bat’s life should not have been put in jeopardy for a preventable reason. We are pleased to report that the bat did not have rabies which means that the dog (and humans it comes in contact with) are safe.
Here are a few resources regarding rabies:
Mammals such as foxes, raccoons, and skunks may carry rabies but are more likely to carry canine distemper. Never handle these animals (even babies) unless you have the proper training and are directed to do so. If you have questions about an injured or orphaned animal, call a wildlife professional and ask for help. If you have to handle one of these animals, make sure to use personal protective equipment such as tools and gloves.
If you live in an area frequented by wild animals, it is especially important that your pets are vaccinated. Even indoor pets may be at risk if a wild animal ends up in your house or your pet gets outside. Most of our bat intakes are animals found inside of a home, often brought inside by cats.