NICEVILLE, Fla. (WKRG) — The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County (DOH) says a feral cat tested positive for rabies on Nov. 15 in the Niceville area.
The health department issued a rabies alert that will last 60 days. Officials say the biggest threat of rabies is to domestic animals that are unvaccinated.
Health Alert Area:
- ZIP Code- 32578
- From Redwood Ave to Hwy 85 N
- From College Blvd. to Choctawhatchee Bay
DOH added the following precautions for residents and visitors:
- Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets and at-risk livestock.
- Do not allow your pets to run free. Follow leash laws by keeping pets and livestock secured on your property. If your pet or livestock are bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Okaloosa Animal Services at Panhandle Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), 850-244-0196.
- Support animal control in efforts to reduce feral and stray animal populations.
- Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.
- Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals, including feral cats, with outdoor food sources such as cat or dog food, uncovered trash or litter.
- Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
- Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
- Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas, where they might come in contact with people and pets.
- Persons who have been bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seek medical attention and report the injury to the DOH-Okaloosa at 850-833-9247.
For more information, you can call the DOH at 850-833-9247.