April 23, 2010
The Texas Department of State Health Services and local officials are trying
to locate anyone who may have come in contact with a group of mixed breed pit
bull puppies at the Friends of Gonzales Animal Shelter in Gonzales. One of the
puppies later tested positive for rabies.
The puppy was one of four that was dropped off at the parking lot of South
Texas Trailer Sales by an unknown person on April 10. The puppies were picked up
by animal control authorities later that evening and taken to the shelter. DSHS
officials say the puppy was infected with the rabies virus before coming to the
shelter and began to show signs of illness shortly thereafter. The other three
puppies are being held in isolation.
The puppy, which was euthanized, weighed about 12 pounds and had tan and
DSHS and local authorities are looking for anyone who may have come in
contact with the puppies at the parking lot or shelter anytime from April 10
through April 23. They might be at risk of rabies exposure.
Individuals who may have had contact with the puppy should talk to a
physician to determine if their exposures warrant a series of rabies-prevention
shots. Anyone with information about the puppies’ original owner, or who
believes they have had contact with the puppy, is urged to call DSHS at
The rabies virus most often is transmitted to humans through animal bites,
but transmission can occur in other ways that allow the saliva of an infected
animal to get inside the body of a person through open cuts, scratches or wounds
or through mucous membranes in the mouth, eyes or nose.
Post-exposure shots can keep rabies from developing if given in time. Once
symptoms of rabies occur in humans, rabies is almost always fatal.
Gonzales is about 60 miles southeast of Austin and 75 miles east of San
(News Media Contact: Christine DeLoma, DSHS Assistant
Press Officer, 512-971-4234.)
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