by Haley Burks
The New Year starts with an attack on rabies, from the air.
"On January 12, we will be in Pecos, Texas and that is when most of the Permian Basin will see small planes flying very low and that is when we will be baiting," Kathy Parker, a Zoonosis Control Specialist with the Texas Department of State Health Services, said.
Using bait that looks a Fig Newton, the Department of State Health Services hopes to stop the spread of rabies by targeting coyotes and gray foxes.
"It is a gel its hot pink in color and inside the cookie or the bait and the animal will see it and gobble it down," Parker explained.
Anything from bats, cats, skunks and even a Yorki can become infected with rabies.
"We really recommend vaccinating horses and either annually or every three years for dogs and cats," Dr. Tommy Wilson with A-Z Veterinarian Clinic, said.
The number of rabies cases in West Texas is less than in years past, but Parker stresses vigilance is still important.
"This is not something that is going to go away, rabies has been here for a thousand years and its going to be here tomorrow, and we have to keep at it if we don't keep at it then we have a chance of some unknown reservoir popping up again," Parker said.
Pet owners must do they part to help protect their pet from rabies.
"The great fear is whether they have been exposed or not and if they are not right there beside you every hour of the day you just don't know. The only way to protect you and your family is to get regular rabies vaccinations," Wilson said.