Do you find it challenging to get your dog to take a heartworm pill carefully hidden in a ball of hamburger?
Imagine the challenge of dropping tons of oral rabies vaccine over Texas, hidden in dog food in hopes that gray foxes will eat it.
The Texas Department of State Health Services did just that this winter in 32 counties to try to immunize the foxes against the disease. About 2 million dog-food-based baits containing the vaccine were dropped from specially equipped King Airs flying at 500 feet.
The airdrop program has been going on since 1996 and proven successful, state officials say. In 2004, there were just 22 cases of rabies among gray foxes, a considerable drop from previous years.