A recent captured bat in Tyler tested positive for rabies, prompting officials to send out an advisory to the community.

The Texas Department of State Health Services notified Tyler Animal Services a bat recently submitted for a rabies examination tested positive for the disease.

According to the City of Tyler, the bat was discovered near the 400 block of West Charnwood Street and city officials notified residents in the area about possible exposure.

Tyler Animal Services stresses not to handle wild animals such as bats, skunks and raccoons. Also, teach children not to handle such animals, and if they do come in contact with a wild or sick animal to let a parent know as soon as possible.

Any animal bite must be reported to a local Rabies Control Authority for investigation.

Dogs and cats are required to have a rabies vaccine every three years, and failure to do so is a Class C misdemeanor. Preventative immunization for the disease is the only way to effectively defend yourself and your pet from this always fatal disease.

For more information or questions about rabies, call the City of Tyler Animal Control at 903-535-0045.