LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A record-high of 45 rabid bats have been reported in Los Angeles County this year, according to the Department of Public Health.

On average, there are usually only 10 rabid bats discovered per year.

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“The majority of bats do not carry rabies and these animals play an important environmental role by feeding on insects and controlling insect populations,” officials with LA Animal Services said.

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In order to help protect domestic animals, the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association is offering free rabies vaccinations to qualified dogs and cats.

“Dogs must have a current license or the pet must be licensed at the time of administration,” officials said. There are no restrictions for cats.

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For a list of participating pet hospitals, click here.