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Sugar Land announces Spring 2011 rabies awareness and prevention

Sugar Land Animal Services is working in conjunction with the Department of State Health Services Zoonosis Control Branch to help promote the Spring 2011 statewide Rabies Awareness and Prevention campaign.

“Rabies is endemic in Texas,” said Animal Service Manager Kathryn Ketchum. “Skunks and bats, species native to Texas and found in Sugar Land, are the most commonly affected species.”

In an effort to raise awareness a poster contest is being launched for grades kindergarten through eighth. Designers of the top three posters will win prizes, and the winning posters will be used in a statewide bat rabies prevention campaign.

Information about the contest and prizes can be downloaded from the DSHS Zoonosis Control website at www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/health/zoonosis. Posters are due April 8.

The rabies virus can affect all warm-blooded mammals. The virus is transmitted by saliva through a bite or scratch that has broken the skin. The top five rabies carriers in Texas are the bat, skunk, raccoon, fox and coyote. Prevention is the key -- keep pets current on their rabies vaccines -- it’s the law. Never handle any wild animals or stray animals.

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