WARNING: RABIES CONFIRMED IN OUR AREA!  The Shelby County Department of Public Health has confirmed two separate incidences of rabies in Shelby County near Oak Mountain and Indian Springs. One cat and one raccoon that was killed by a dog both tested positive for rabies within the past two weeks.

Rabies vaccinations are REQUIRED by state law for all pets over 12 weeks of age.  Do not let your pets lapse on their vaccines for their safety as well as yours.

To discourage wildlife such as raccoons from coming onto your property, do not store pet food outdoors and keep bowls inside when not in use. As a safety precaution, keep watch on your pets while outside.

If a human is bitten by an animal or pet believed to have rabies, seek medical attention at a hospital immediately for a rabies test and vaccine.  If a rabies test is positive, it will be reported to the county health department.

Rabies is a deadly viral disease that infects the brain and spinal cord of mammals. The virus is spread from exposure to saliva or nervous tissue from an infected animal, usually through a bite. Scratches or saliva contact with a mucous membrane are also considered as exposure risks to rabies.

Rabies is preventable if proper treatment is given before symptoms occur, but is fatal once symptoms are present.

For more information on rabies and how to protect yourself and your pets, visit Alabama Department of Public Health or the Centers for Disease Control.