Skunk inside city limts test positive for rabies

A skunk picked up by Breckenridge by Animal Control officers on Friday, Dec. 2, has tested positive for rabies.

According the Breckenridge Fire Chief Calvin Chaney, the city received a call on Friday about a skunk acting strangely in the 1400 block of East Lindsey. After animal control officers picked up the skunk, it was taken to local veterinarian Tom Echols, who euthanized it and sent it to the Texas Department of Health in Austin to be tested for rabies. They received the results of the test on Monday, and it had tested positive for rabies. 

Cheney said it’s also possible some feral cats in the area were exposed to the skunk and that the Texas Department of Health mandated protocol requires them to trap those stray cats so they can also be tested.

 “They’re not pets; they’re feral cats,” Cheney said. “We’re just trying to do everything the state mandates us to do. That’s where those directives come from about capturing the other animals. That’s the process we have to follow.”

Local veterinarian Gary Fambro, who is also the rabies officer for Stephens County, said he was glad that the skunk was sent off to be tested because it was found so close to East Elementary.  

Additionally, he said, the feral cats in area are a problem because they have not been vaccinated and officials don’t know if they were exposed to the skunk or not. 

“You got feral cats and you got children at a school,” he said. “That’s why they’re going to try to remove (the cats).”

BISD Superintendent Tim Seymore said personnel at the school and the maintenance people at the school will be on the lookout for feral cats around the school and would contact animal control if they see them at the school.

Fambro said this is the fourth rabies case confirmed in the county this year, but it’s the first one in the city limits.

The Breckenridge American

BRECKENRIDGE OFFICE

114 East Elm Street

PO Box 871

Breckenridge, Texas 76424
Phone: (254) 559-5412

Fax: (254) 559-3491