November 12, 2006
Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) laboratory tests of a second puppy adopted from the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter were negative for rabies.
The puppy was one of two puppies found lost or abandoned in southern Jack County and taken to the animal shelter in Weatherford on Oct. 21. The first puppy tested positive for rabies, and authorities are continuing to try to locate anyone who may have come in contact with that puppy.
DSHS, the Weatherford Police Department, the Parker County Sheriff’s Office and other local authorities are looking for the rabid puppy’s original owners and for anyone who visited the shelter anytime from Oct. 21 through Oct. 26, the day the puppy was adopted out.
They said the owners and visitors who had contact with the puppy should talk to a physician to determine if their exposures warrant a series of rabies-prevention shots.
DSHS officials said the puppy was infected with the rabies virus before coming to the shelter and did not show signs of illness until after it was adopted.
Both puppies were 8 to 10 weeks old and were mixed-breed males with short black hair and white or gray markings on their front legs.
Anyone with information about the puppies’ original owners and anyone needing more information about this situation can call the Weatherford Police Department at (817) 598-4300.
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, such as 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.
Weatherford is about 30 miles west of Fort Worth.
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(News Media: for more information contact Doug McBride, DSHS Press Officer, Austin, 512-458-7524.)