South Dakota health officials say an increase in rabies cases last year shows the importance of keeping animals vaccinated.
The South Dakota Department of Health says 28 wild animals and 12 domesticated animals tested positive in 2011. The wild animals included skunks, bats and raccoons. The domesticated animals were made up of cats, cattle, dogs and a horse.
The 40 cases compare to 32 the previous year.
Skunks are the animals most likely to have rabies. They can pass the virus on to other animals like dogs, cats and livestock.
State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven encourages animal owners to vaccinate horses and stock and show animals that have contact with humans.