BROWNWOOD, Texas - Thirteen positive tests for rabies this year in Brown County resulted in a "general statement of alert" being issued Thursday.
"Our intent is not to alarm the community but simply ask everyone to use caution and to understand the situation," said James Fuller, assistant Brownwood police chief, in an email.
Fuller said he received the information from the state and "thought it best to forward the alert."
According to a news release, the Brownwood Police Department and Brown County Sheriff's Office are asking Brown County residents to "exercise caution when coming into contact with stray or wild animals."
Residents are also asked to use caution around wild animals and "carefully observe (monitor) any pets that may have been exposed," the release said.
Those who encounter animals suspected to be rabid should call (325) 646-2525.
Here's more of the warning:
"Physical contact, such as bites or scratches, may lead to exposure to rabies. Furthermore, infected animals can transmit the rabies virus prior to the onset of visible symptoms. Remember, rabies is fatal if left untreated. Humans who have been bitten or scratched by a rabid animal must have a series of shots to prevent becoming infected.
"The first line of defense against human infection is the vaccination of all cats and dogs. This is required by state law. We urge all pet owners to have their animals vaccinated and to keep vaccinations up to date. Please see your veterinarian for more information on rabies vaccinations."