On January 4, 2018, Field Services Officers from the Rancho Cucamonga Animal Care and Services Department responded Mountain View Park on Terra Vista Parkway regarding a bat found by a Good Samaritan. The bat was sent to the San Bernardino County Public Health Department to test for the Rabies virus. The results of the test disclosed that the bat tested positive for the Rabies virus.
Rabies is a rare, fatal viral infection of the brain that can infect all mammals, including dogs, cats, horses and humans. In southern California, the bat is the common carrier of the disease although the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health states that it is estimated that only one-half of one percent of the population is infected with the virus. However, bats that are found on the ground are of great concern as approximately 20% of all downed bats tested will be positive for the virus.
Senior Animal Services Officer Linda Wieczorek states that “If you find any bats on the ground or in an unusual location, you should not attempt to touch it. Keep children and pets away from the animal and report it to Animal Services Dispatch at (909) 466-7387 ext. 2083. Our Officers will respond immediately and safely remove the bat”.
Unvaccinated pets are at the greatest risk as they are the most likely to discover a bat on the ground. It is essential that all dog, cat and horse owners ensure that their pets are currently vaccinated for rabies. The California Department of Public Health declared the entire State of California “a rabies area” back in the 1950s. As a result, a comprehensive rabies control program was developed and has been modified over the years to include mandated public health activities such as; the control of stray animals, mandatory dog licensing/rabies vaccination, the investigation of animal bites and public education.
For more information regarding rabies contact California Department of Public Health Communicable Disease Section at (800) 722-4794 or www.cdph.ca.gov or the Field Services division of the Rancho Cucamonga Animal Care and Services Department at (909) 466-7387 ext. 2083 or Field.Services@CityofRC.us.