FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Residents in a section of Fort Myers are being warned to avoid interacting with wild animals after a cat tested positive for rabies this week.
According to the Florida Department of Health in Lee County, this rabies alert lasts 60 days and affects the following areas:
- Between Veronica Shoemaker Boulevard and Cleveland Avenue/U.S. 41
- Between the Caloosahatchee River and Edison Avenue
All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes.
Residents and visitors are advised to take the following precautions:
- Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
- Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Lee County Domestic Animal Services, 239-533-7387.
- Call Lee County Domestic Animal Services to report any stray dogs in your neighborhood or private property owners can hire a nuisance wildlife trapper for removal of wildlife. For a list of wildlife trappers, visit https://public.myfwc.com/HGM/NWT/NWTSearch.aspx
- Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
- Do not leave food sources out for wildlife such as pet food or unsecured garbage.
- Avoid contact with stray and feral animals.
- Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
- Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
- Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas, where they might come in contact with people and pets.
- Persons who have been bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seek medical attention and report the injury to the Florida Department of Health in Lee County at 239-332-9580.
For further information on rabies, go to http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/rabies/index.html