A rabid skunk was found in west Little Rock earlier this week — the first known skunk with rabies located south of the Arkansas River in Pulaski County in more than 30 years — according to a Friday news release from Arkansas Department of Health.
State public-health veterinarian Susan Weinstein said the skunk was found dead in the backyard of a residence off of Arkansas 10, but she could not provide a more specific address or general area where it was located.
The skunk was likely killed by a dog at that residence, Weinstein said, adding that the dog was up-to-date on its rabies vaccination. As a precaution, the dog was quarantined and given a booster shot as is required by the Rabies Control Act, she said.
The department urged residents to keep all their pets and livestock vaccinated, noting that fences and pens are not always sufficient in keeping rabid animals away. State law requires all domestic dogs and cats to be vaccinated against the rabies virus by a licensed veterinarian.
According to the department, this is the first year since 1980 that cases of land animals with rabies have been recorded in Pulaski County with six rabid skunks being found north of the Arkansas River so far.
Officials have recorded 134 rabies cases throughout the state so far in 2013.
For more information about how to recognize and protect yourself and your pets against the rabies virus, visit the Arkansas Department of Health website at www.healthy.arkansas.gov.