Jonesboro Animal Control sees spike in possible rabid animal calls

Jonesboro Animal Control sees spike in possible rabid animal calls
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Though two confirmed rabies cases at Craighead Forest Park were found to be migratory, that hasn't eased the minds of some in the community.

Jonesboro Animal Control received a spike in possible rabid animal calls following the confirmed rabies cases last week.

Animal control officers followed up on every call but none of the animals have come up positive for rabies.

Though the deadly disease is not common in Craighead County, animal control officers say it spreads.

"They can get outside and have run-ins with wildlife," Jonesboro Animal Control Officer, Beth Grant, said. "They can intermingle with wildlife while they are just going out to use the bathroom outside."

Officers encourage people to keep a close eye on their pets while out-and-about.

It's advice Suzanne Laffoon has taken after learning of the two bats testing positive for rabies.

Region 8 News spoke with her at Craighead Forest Park Monday afternoon while walking her dog.

"That's shocking," Laffoon said. "I'm not worried because it makes me glad that I'm up-to-date on my rabies shots with my dog, and I will tell everybody to make sure their pet is up-to-date on their shots to protect them."

Grant said too often, pets they come in contact with are not up-to-date on their rabies vaccination.

"It's extremely important," Grant said. "The rabies shot is required by law, so it's got to be done every year, unless you get the three-year vaccination."

The vaccine is 99.9% effective, according to Grant.

If you do see an animal acting strange, do not hesitate to call animal control.

"This has caused panic," Grant said. "We have a lot of people concerned when they see nocturnal wildlife out during the day, which is very common right now because it's breeding season. That doesn't necessarily mean they have rabies. We've also seen a lot of concern with animals acting strangely, there's a lot of disease symptoms that can mimic rabies too."

Grant said it is never safe to handle wildlife.

You can contact Jonesboro Animal Control with any concerns at (870) 935-3920.

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