A Fleming couple and their two children are undergoing preventive treatment for rabies after the family’s dog tested positive for the disease. The dog was not up to date on rabies vaccinations.
In addition, the family reported its cat got away from their home. The potentially rabid cat was showing signs of aggression when it fled into the woods Wednesday near Cook Road, the owners said.
Environmental-health officials and Liberty County Animal Control officers are trying to find the animal.
Anyone who sees the mostly white cat is urged to stay away from it and call Liberty County Animal Control at 876-9191 or the Liberty County Health Department’s environmental health division at 368-5520.
Liberty County Environmental Health officials remind residents to get all pets vaccinated. It’s the law and not only protects pets but also family members and others who might be around the pets.
Rabies is a potentially deadly virus that primarily is spread by infected animals. Residents should avoid
contact with wild or stray animals, watch for unusual behavior in pets and wildlife and get pets vaccinated against rabies. Symptoms of rabies in animals include a change in behavior, biting, aggression, showing no fear of natural enemies (such as humans), foaming at the mouth and paralysis.
The environmental-health division offers these tips to protect families from rabies:
• Avoid contact with unknown animals.
• Make sure pets receive the proper immunizations.
• Do not handle or feed wild animals.
• Never adopt wild animals or bring them into the home. Do not try to nurse sick animals back to health. Call animal control or a licensed animal-rescue agency for assistance.
• Teach children to never handle unfamiliar animals — wild or domestic — even if they appear friendly.