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Jun 20, 2023

Polk County has second confirmed case of rabies in 2023

Media Contact: Alicia Manautou, PIO

The second case of rabies in 2023 has been confirmed in Polk County.

On June 14, 2023, a family dog in the Orange Avenue area of Bartow was found with a dead bat in its mouth. The family contacted PCSO Animal Control, and an officer took possession of the bat. Its carcass was sent to Tampa for testing.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Section received the test results from the state laboratory in Tampa on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, which showed the bat was positive for the deadly virus.

"Thankfully, this dog was not injured and current on its rabies vaccination. He will have to be quarantined to make sure he is not infected. Remember, if a wild animal is in distress, acting aggressive or appears sick, stay away from it and contact Animal Control immediately." - Grady Judd, Sheriff