Boise couple finds rabid bat in backyard; pet cat placed under mandatory quarantine

Posted at 4:29 PM, Sep 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-05 19:16:46-04

A Boise couple is forced to quarantine their pet cat after finding a dead bat in their backyard that tested positive for rabies.

Daniel Swanson went out to water his garden one late August morning when he saw a small bat on the ground, stiff and lifeless.

Swanson and his wife were able to get the dead bat into a bag without touching it, and took it to the Idaho Humane Society to have it tested for rabies.

"Anytime you ever hear of someone finding a dead bat, they always test positive for rabies!" Swanson said.

The Humane Society had the bat tested at the state veterinary lab and received positive results for rabies.

Since the Swanson's pet cat, Orange, was napping in the yard less than 100 feet away when they discovered the bat, animal control gave the couple strict directions to keep the cat indoors and away from all other people and animals for 45 days. 

Swanson says the quarantine length would've been six months had Orange not been up-to-date on his vaccinations.

Orange now must stay indoors, and must be locked up and crated if the couple has company over.

The Swansons live in Boise near Curtis and Northview, a heavily populated area, leading Daniel to worry for neighbors.

"You know, there's plenty of cats in the neighborhood and what about those cats? Not to mention the raccoons," Swanson said. 

He hopes this encourages residents in the area to keep house pets up-to-date on vaccinations, and to remind children not to touch dead or injured animals.