HOUSTON COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - A four-month-old stray puppy recently taken in by Dothan City and Houston County Animal Control has been confirmed to have rabies.
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, the puppy, having shown abnormal neurological signs soon after being transferred to a rescue group, was taken to a veterinarian for treatment. The puppy died shortly after and tested positive for rabies.
The puppy was one of a litter of four. ADPH said rabies is rare in domestic animals because of vaccination requirements, but very young, stray animals are often at risk.
ADPH said multiple people who were exposed to the puppy have been identified and are receiving rabies prevention treatment. The rabies virus is transmitted by saliva, usually through a bite or scratch, but it can sometimes be contracted through the eyes, nose and mouth.
Alabama state law requires that dogs, cats and ferrets 12 weeks of age and older be current with rabies vaccination.