TAVARES – The Florida Department of Health in Lake County has issued a rabies alert for the Mount Dora area in response to a fox that tested positive for rabies.
As a result, Lake County Animal Services is required to temporarily suspend the use of the night-drop kennels -- effective immediately -- at the animal shelter, located at 28123 County Road 561, Tavares. Residents sometimes use the kennels to drop off strays or give up pets for adoption after regular business hours.
“Residents are urged to only drop off animals during regular business hours, which are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., to avoid euthanasia,” said shelter supervisor Jennifer Ferguson. “In doing so, we can identify where the animal originated and its vaccination status. All animals in the shelter must be current on their rabies vaccine to be adopted.”
The rabies alert will last 60 days.
Rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. The public is asked to maintain a heightened awareness and understand that rabies is active in Lake County. People who have been bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seek medical attention immediately and report the injury to the Florida Department of Health in Lake County.
Residents are urged to keep pets under direct supervision to prevent them from coming in contact with wild animals. If a pet is bitten, owners should seek veterinary assistance right away. Pet owners should ensure their dogs and cats are up-to-date with their rabies vaccination, as required by county and state law.
For more information on rabies, visit www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/rabies/index.html, contact the Florida Department of Health in Lake County at 352-589-6424 or call Lake County Animal Services at 352-343-9688.