NOTI, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A family of pet owners in Noti, Oregon, roughly 20 miles west of Eugene, must make a difficult decision.
Cats belonging to the family were found playing with a dead bat that later tested positive for rabies infection October 3rd.
None of the cats had been vaccinated against the disease, and the family must decide whether to quarantine the animals for six months or euthanize them.
“All pet owners should make certain their dogs and cats are vaccinated against rabies. When our pets are protected from rabies, it provides a buffer zone of immune animals between humans and rabid wild animals, such as bats,” says Dr. Emilio DeBess, State Public Health Veterinarian.
Officials from the Lane County Public Health Department said the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Oregon State University confirmed the bat was infected with rabies.
Nine Oregon animals — seven bats and two foxes — have tested positive for rabies in 2014.
Rabies is a viral disease carried in saliva and affects the nervous system of humans and mammals, and is almost 100 per cent fatal once symptoms begin.