Hot Springs Animal Services recently received confirmation this afternoon of a positive rabies test on a bat submitted to the state health laboratory. The bat was collected in the 1300 block of North Crystal Springs Road in an unincorporated area of the county.
According to the attached Arkansas Health Department rabies map, this exposure will bring the total number of confirmed 2017 rabies cases to date in Garland County to six. All of the exposures were to bats. Pike County has had one confirmed cat exposure this year, while Mississippi County has had one dog exposure. A total of 12 counties have had skunk exposures.
Pet owners are reminded to vaccinate all dogs and cats at least four months old against rabies. Any daytime activity by nocturnal creatures such as skunks or bats is unusual. Residents are urged not to approach the animal and to contact Animal Services immediately at 262-2091.
Hot Springs Animal Services will host a second rabies vaccination drive from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 21 at the Transportation Depot, 100 Broadway Terrace in downtown Hot Springs. Rabies vaccinations will be offered for $5, and microchips for $20. Animal licenses, required by city ordinance, will also be sold at the event. The license fee is $10 per year for a non-fixed pet or $20 for a fixed pet (lifetime) license. In the event that a pet is lost and turned in to Animal Services, a license can promptly reunite the pet with its owner. Proof of rabies vaccination from a licensed vet is required in order to obtain a license. Licenses are also sold at the Hot Springs Animal Shelter on weekdays from noon until 5 p.m.