“Rabies does exist in bat populations in Indiana” says Peggy Bender of Fort Wayne’s Animal Care & Control. The number of bat rabies cases so far this year right here in Indiana is already close to passing the total amount seen in 2008. ‘So far weve seen an increase and we dont know why, but we are keeping track of those numbers” says Janelle Thompson of the Indiana State Board of Animal Health. There have already been 12 cases statewide this year. There were thirteen overall in 2008. “Any exposure to bats is taken highly seriously” adds Bender. In Allen county, and the several other surrounding counties. theres been 5 cases in the past three years. Thompson says that of those cases “almost all of them involved human exposure.” You may think that your pet is safe being outside, but they could be bitten by a bat and that could lead to rabies and in turn could mean harm for your family. “In the state of Indiana it is required that all dogs, cats, including ferrets be vaccinated with rabies vaccines by the time they are three months of age” says Bender. That requirement being in place for human protection as much as it is for your animals health. “As long as we know that rabies does exist in bats in Indiana and that bats are out there, bats can get in your home, dogs and cats are going to very curious and try and get a hold of them and your family could be at risk” says Bender. If your pet comes in contact with a bat with rabies, it could be transferred to you or your family. Bender urges every pet owner to not overlook how important a rabies vaccine is. If you are concerned that your pet may have rabies you are urged to contact Fort Wayne’s Animal Care & Control. Their phone number is (260) 422-7387.