HALL COUNTY, Ga. - A rabid skunk has put a scare into some pet owners in Hall County. Officials are warning residents to be on the lookout for animals acting abnormally.
Animal Control said a skunk attacked a dog this week along Cleveland Highway in Clermont. The skunk later tested positive for rabies.
The homeowner shot the skunk, but his dog is now in quarantine for the next six months. The dog had not been vaccinated.
Channel 2's Berndt Petersen spoke to a longtime veterinarian who said he's seen more rabies cases in the area.
“Seems like in Hall County, there's a lot of rabies in the northern part. It has crept up from South Georgia. We have a lot of rabies in skunks and raccoons here," said Dr. Fred Ingle.
Ingle has spent more than 40 years examining dogs and cats in north Hall County, and said too many pet owners are rolling the dice with rabies vaccinations.
“Probably only two-thirds are vaccinated. A lot of people have me see the dog once in 10 years. They'll get it vaccinated. They get by, so they don't do it,” Ingle said.
The county’s Animal Services department has reported three cases of rabies so far this year, including the latest case this week.
Dog owner Mike Smith said his dogs get the shots every year.
He said there are a lot of farm animals in this neck of the woods and that brings a lot of wild animals around.
Back at the clinic, Ingle said it can be a sad ending if your pet crosses paths with a rabid animal.
"Then, that dog can be quarantined up to six months and possibly destroyed,” Ingle said. "So, if you've got a good pet, and you don't want to build a pen that's up to state health regulations, then get your dog vaccinated."
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