Health Department Warns: Bat Bites Are Most Common Cause of Rabies Throughout Indiana (VIDEO)

By Rachelle Spence - 21Alive

September 3, 2014 Updated Sep 3, 2014 at 7:22 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- "People send us all kinds of little things to add to our bat collection," said 'Bat Crazy' owner, Bob Walton.

Walking into what used to be his dining room, 21Alive found 14 rescued bats.

When people find the intruders hanging around inside their homes, Walton gladly takes them in, nurtures them, and then releases them outside in his barn.

But perhaps what officials from the Fort Wayne-Allen County Health Department appreciate most, he gives those bats rabies shots, which helps prevent people from catching a deadly disease.

"Rabies is nearly 100% fatal if not tested before symptoms appear," warns Director of Vector Control, David Feiss.

In 2014, seven bats have already tested positive for the disease.

Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control official, Amy Jo Sites, says they've seen many more, "as of [Wednesday], we've taken in 157 bats. Our employees have been very busy this year."

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