As our Texas panhandle weather warms up, wild and stray animals across the area become more active. As a result, the cases of confirmed rabies will also increase. Randall County has confirmed their first rabies case of 2020 involving a skunk. While there are signs to look for to see if an animal is rabid, it is best to not come in contact with any wildlife in case they are not exhibiting symptoms. That includes making sure your domesticated pets and animals stay out of contact with wildlife as well. Remember to vaccinate your pets.

Animals that are showing unusual behavior is a strong sign that the animal maybe rabid. That includes seeing nocturnal animals during the day. The animal may appear to be agitated, bite or snap at imaginary and real objects, and drool excessively. They may also seem overly friendly and out of character for wildlife. That is why you need to resist the urge to pet or touch. There are other signs, such as the animal appearing drunk or excessively wobbly, circling, seeming partially paralyzed, or acting disorientated that can possibly be linked to rabies.

If you think you have spotted a rabid animal, you should call your local animal control officers or the Sheriff's Office. In Randall County, Sheriff’s Office deputies will respond to calls involving high risk animals – skunks, raccoons, bats, foxes and coyotes. In 2019, Randall County alone had 24 confirmed cases of rabies - 22 skunks; 1 dog; and 1 bovine.