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Health Department Investigates Possible Rabies Case – Community is asked to help

By Renay Rouse

July 07, 2016

The Florida Department of Health in Martin County is asking for help to locate the person who dropped off a dog at the Humane Society outdoor kennel in Palm City on Thursday, June 23 due to concerns related to possible rabies exposure.

The Humane Society contacted the Health Department on June 30 when the dog became highly aggressive and began foaming at the mouth. The shelter contacted Martin County Animal Control Services for guidance, where it was determined that the dog needed to be euthanized by the Humane Society. The Health Department sent samples for rabies testing. As the test results were not conclusive, the Health Department is asking anyone who came in contact with the dog, prior to its arrival at the Humane Society, to come forward to provide information.

The dog is described as a 1 to 2 year old, unspayed female, dark grey pit bull. No microchip was found on the dog. Anyone with information about the dog should contact the Florida Department of Health at 772-221-4090.

Rabies is a virus that is transmitted from the bite or scratch of a rabid animal.  Any mammal can get rabies. The most common carriers of rabies are raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes and coyotes. Domestic mammals can also get rabies.

Take the following precautions to prevent rabies:

  • Make sure your pets are up to date with their rabies vaccinations.
  • Do not feed or handle wild animals.
  • If you see an animal acting strangely, call Martin County Animal Control at 772-463-3211.
  • If you get bitten by an animal, wash the wound with soap and water for at least 5 minutes and see a doctor.
  • Do not touch dead animals. Use gloves to remove and dispose of the animal properly.