ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The City of Abilene is urging the public to take extreme caution around random animals after stray dogs were seen playing with a rabid skunk.

The skunk was found near the area of South 7th Street and Presidio Drive April 21, and a nearby resident told animals services 2 to 4 stray dogs had been interacting with the skunk.

Animal control and police are now searching for any stray animal who may have been in contact with the skunk, and in the meantime, anyone in the area is asked to take precautions, especially with their pets.

“It is strongly recommended at this time that residents in the area keep animals indoors, or in an outdoor area that restricts contact with stray or wild animals, such as a yard with a privacy fence enclosure,” the City of Abilene says. “Animal owners are also strongly urged to make sure their animals’ rabies vaccination is current.”

Rabies is a potentially deadly disease that is highly contagious. Contact animal control at (325)698-0085 if you observe any potentially rabid animals.

Abilene Animal Services offers these tips concerning exposure to rabies:

  • Do not feed, handle, or touch wild animals such as bats, skunks, and raccoons.
  • Teach children to stay away from wild or deceased animals.
  • Do not allow pets to roam freely, as free-roaming increases their chance of exposure without your knowledge.
  • Keep your pet’s rabies vaccination current.
  • Immediately contact a veterinarian if your pet is bitten or scratched by a wild animal.
  • Consult with a physician immediately after possible rabies exposure.
  • Report all animal bites to animal control authorities; the biting animal must be quarantined or tested for rabies.