SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Three bats in Sioux Falls have tested positive for rabies in 2023. The Department of Animal Control is now reminding pet owners to get their animals vaccinated.
There have been 29 bats caught and tested this year and in May, three of them tested positive.
Typically, only one or two bats test positive for rabies in Sioux Falls in a year. In 2022, four bats tested for rabies.
“Sick bats are less able to fly and are more easily captured by dogs and cats, potentially exposing them to rabies,” the news release said.
There have been over 135 calls to Animal Control since Jan. 1, 2023 with Sioux Falls residents concerned about rabid bats in their homes.
The Department of Animal Control is asking people to contact their vets and ensure pets are up-to-date on vaccinations.
“Rabies can be spread from pets to humans if the pet develops the disease, which is why all dogs and cats over the age of six months that live in Sioux Falls are required to be vaccinated against rabies,” the news release said.
If someone finds a bat in their home, Animal Control says not to panic and call the non-emergency number 605-367-7000.