Lecture about rabies in Los Angeles County
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Note: Scroll to bottom of page for more
information about bats and rabies and for a rabies map
focused on Santa Clarita area.
In 2010, 22 rabid animals, all bats, were detected
in Los Angeles County. In most years, only 8-10 rabid
bats are discovered. Please scroll lower
down to read about bats and rabies. (Note: The 5th and
6th bat were found close enough together that
they look like one red star on the map).
Four rabid bats
this year had direct contact with family pets (2 dogs,
2 cats) this year.
Vaccinate your pets!
Circumstances of rabid bats found in 2010.
1. In Van Nuys - 3/26/10. Bat hanging on a wall at a
golf course in daylight.
2. In Castaic - 4/2/10. Bat clinging to side of house for 4 days before
fell to ground.
3. In Canyon Country - 6/28/10. Bat hanging on side of one
house for a day. Then flew to second house and hung
there for a day. Then fell to ground, weak.
4. In Topanga - 7/12/10. Bat clinging to outside of
screen on second story window of house in daylight.
5. In Stevenson Ranch - 7/23/10. Bat clinging to side
of house, fell to ground next day.
6. In Newhall - 7/28/10. Bat near storage room and
patio over 24 hours. Dog successfully was kept away from
7. In Saugus - 7/30/10. Bat found on ground on cement
patio, wings fluttering, could not fly. Dog successfully
was kept away from bat.
8. In Calabasas - 8/9/10. Baby bat found in water heater closet (outdoors).
Thin, dehydrated. One person directly exposed to bat.
9. In East Los Angeles - 8/12/10. Bat found flying
around inside an office in courthouse.
10. In Burbank - 8/17/10. Bat crash-landed into
swimming pool. (Normally healthy bats swoop over water
to get a drink without crashing).
11. In Northridge - 8/23/10. Bat found in daylight
(early evening) clinging to stucco on side of house.
12. In Canyon Country - 8/31/10. Dog was carrying
around live bat in mouth. Dog's rabies vaccine was boostered and dog to be quarantined and monitored for
rabies at home for 30 days.
13. In Santa Clarita - 9/2/10. Resident saw animal
flapping around on ground in back yard. Thought it was a
bird at first. Watched it climb wall where it stopped
and hung upside down.
14. In Chatsworth - 9/12/10. Dog was carrying around
live bat in its mouth. Dog's rabies vaccine was boostered and dog to be quarantined and monitored for
rabies at home for 30 days.
15. In Santa Clarita on 9/14/10. Bat found on sidewalk
in front of store.
16. In Stevenson Ranch on 9/17/10. Bat found in morning
on patio floor outside house - sat there for 24 hours,
17. In Santa Clarita on 9/17/10. Bat found in morning on
patio floor outside house. Bat climbed screen and then
stayed there for hours.
18. In Santa Clarita on 10/2/10. Found alive.
19. In Sherman Oaks. A cat had contact with a rabid bat.
20. In Encino on 10/3/10. Found dead on front porch.
21. In Santa Clarita on 11/5/10. Sick bat fell to ground
in front of entrance to restaurant.
22. In Palmdale on 11/6/10. Sick bat found clinging to
side of building in daylight.
Bats and Rabies.
Bats are the animals that most commonly
carry rabies in our county. Most bats do not have
rabies, and try to avoid contact with people and
pets. Bats are good for the environment because they eat
insects and pollinate plants. Bats are also protected by
Bats seen flying in daylight, or found
on the ground, are more likely to have rabies. Never
touch a bat or other wild animal. If you pick up a bat
with your bare hands, you may be bitten and exposed to rabies.
Bats that bite a person or pet should be tested
for rabies. The bite mark from a bat can be very small
and hard to see. Bats that are found indoors near a
sleeping person, young child, adult that cannot speak,
or pet should also be tested for rabies. In
these cases, try to gently trap the bat without touching
it (such as covering it with a bucket), and call your
local animal control agency. To see a list of local
animal control agencies,
click here. You
should also talk to your doctor and/or veterinarian in
Santa Clarita Area - Rabid Bats -
In 2010, 11 out of 22 rabid bats were found in or near Santa Clarita. The bats were
found by residents outside on the ground, or clinging to
the side of the house during daytime. No people
directly touched any of these bats, but one dog was
playing with a rabid bat.
Santa Clarita area residents should:
1. Keep your pets' rabies vaccines up-to-date.
2. Never touch or feed any wildlife.
3. Bats with rabies do not attack people, but like all
wildlife they will bite if touched.
4. Know that most bats in nature do NOT carry rabies
(fewer than 1 in 1000 bats).
5. Bats that are flying in daylight, sitting on the
ground, or spending time near people and pets are not
healthy - there is a 10% chance they could be rabid.
6. If you encounter a sick bat outside your home, do not
touch it. Gently cover it with a box or bucket and call
the animal shelter that covers the Santa Clarita area
7. If you wake to find a bat inside your home, or find a
bat near your child or pet, it needs to be tested for
rabies. Do not touch it or let it escape. Instead
cover it gently with a bucket or box and call LA County
Animal Control: Santa Clarita area at: 661-257-3191.
Links about rabies
Centers for Disease
Control - Rabies pages
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
To see a map of all rabid bats found in Los Angeles
County from 2000 through 2010. click
Last updated January 11, 2011