Bat tests positive for rabies

by Michael Stafford
NewsWest 9

The City of Midland is warning local shoppers about an isolated incident involving a bat found with rabies.

The incident happened at Lowe's Home Improvement, and if you happened to shop there between September 8th and 18th, the city's Animal Services Division may want to speak with you. 
The Director of Animal Services in Midland, Paul O'Neill, doesn't like to take any chances. That's why when they learned about the bat, he had it sent off to be tested, and sure enough the bat tested positive for rabies. 

The bat wasn't located inside the store, but rather outside in the lawn and garden section under a planter box.  It was alive but barely.

"The bat on the ground usually means they're sick.  We decided to euthanize it and test it for rabies. Rabies can be deadly if not treated.  And with bats, their teeth are so small sometimes it's hard to know if you've been bitten,"  says O'Neill.

The rabid bat is described as a Mexican Free-Tailed bat, and is prevalent in this area.  Bats are known to roost together and was probably bitten by another bat.  If you or your child remember coming in contact with the animal in early to mid September, Animal Control Officials urge you to get checked immediately.  Afterall, Rabies can be deadly if it goes untreated.

Nobody is sure how long the bat was inside the garden section, or if other bats could have taken up residence near the store, but officials are just asking you to be cautious wherever you been shopping.