The City of Amarillo's Public Health Department and Animal Management and Welfare along with the Canyon police department warns citizens to avoid wild animals and bats that they may come into contact with in the area.   

Getty Images/Ian Waldie

The warning has been issued do to reported cases of rabies in the area.  They have found at least 3 bats found in the area have tested positive for rabies in Randall County.

The following are recommendations from the above agencies on how to handle a bat if you come into contact with one.

  • If a bat is in your home, do not release the bat outdoors until after speaking with Animal Management & Welfare or public health officials. It may be possible to test the bat and avoid the need to receive rabies treatment.
  • If you wake to a bat in the room you may need to be treated, if the bat cannot be tested.
  • If you find yourself in close proximity to a bat, dead or alive, do not touch, hit or destroy it and do not try and remove it from your home.
  • Bats that are on the ground, unable to fly, or active during the day are more likely than others to be rabid. Such bats are often easily approached but should never be handled.
  • Keep vaccinations up-to-date for all dogs, cats, ferrets and other animals you own. Contact your veterinarian for rabies vaccination.
  • Seek immediate veterinary assistance for your pet if your pet is bitten by a wild animal or exposed to a bat.
  • Call your Animal Management & Welfare about removing stray animals in your neighborhood. Never adopt wild animals, bring them into your home, or try to nurse sick, wild animals to health.
  • Animals do not have to be aggressive or behaving strangely to have rabies. Changes in any animal’s normal behavior can be early signs of rabies.
  • Do not touch, feed or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
  • Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
  • Maintain homes and other buildings so bats cannot get inside.
  • Call your local Animal Management & Welfare office through the 911 dispatch system to report a bat in your home or a dead bat on your property.
  • Call the City of Amarillo Department of Public Health to report human exposure to a bat or other high risk animal.

For more information on rabies visit the CDC website.