Polk County reports first rabies case of 2017 after bat tests positive in Lakeland

Posted at 9:58 AM, May 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-10 17:29:11-04

A bat found in a Lakeland backyard tested positive for rabies and is the first positive rabies case in Polk County in 2017. 

The Polk County Sheriff's Office Animal Control confirmed the case on Tuesday, May 9. 

On Saturday, May 6, a resident of Carla Circle in Lakeland found his dogs biting at a bat in his backyard. The bat had also been in the mouths of the dogs. 

The owner called animal control and the bat was taken away and sent to the state lab for rabies testing. The owner was notified of the positive results on Tuesday.

Both dogs are current on their vaccinations and they have been placed on home quarantine for 10 days. 

"This is an important reminder to make sure your pets are up-to-date on their vaccines" said Sheriff Grady Judd. 

For more info on rabies, please visit this link

Residents are reminded that bats and raccoons are among the mammals considered to be high risk species or "rabies vector species" (RVS).  Please do not approach any animal that is acting in an unusual or suspicious manner.  If you think you or your pet has had an "exposure," please contact the PCSO Animal Control Section at 863.577.1762.