Spooky! Just days before Halloween — a holiday typically associated with bats and the pestilence they represent — a rabid representative of the species was discovered, still live and twitching, in a Richmond District driveway.

Area woman Melissa Shanley tells ABC7 that the bat appeared outside her home near the Argonne Community Garden, along 15th Avenue.

"We saw one of the ears twitch, so we knew it was alive when it was still in the driveway," she said.

Eventually, a neighbor says, the San Francisco Department of Health "came out, and they said the bat was rabid."

According to Shanley, this isn't the first rabid bat in the area this fall, as she says an SF Animal Care and Control officer "was telling me there had been a few cases around the area."

SF is no stranger to outbreaks of rabid bats: more than 200 SF homes near Lake Merced received written warnings regarding the dangerous beasts after five of the ailing creatures were discovered in 2012. At that time, city officials said that about 12% of the bats found in SF since 2012 had tested positive for the deadly disease. That's why, says SF's DPH:

Evacuate any room with a live bat and close the door. Call Animal Care and Control emergency dispatch immediately at (415) 554-9400 if there is a live or dead bat inside your home or work place, or if you find a sick or dead bat outside your home. Do not touch bats even if appearing sick or dead.

According to a DPH spokesperson who spoke with BayNature, “We haven’t had a case of dog or cat rabies in San Francisco for the past 60 years and we want to keep it that way.” Nationally, data from the Center for Disease Control suggests that wild animal infections (bats, raccoons, etc) dwarf those of domestic animals by over 90%. So the best way to protect your pets is to keep their rabies vaccinations up-to-date (if only that had been done for poor Cujo) and to keep them away from wild animals, alive or dead.

San Francisco hasn't had a human case of rabies since 1987, but it's still a disease that kills about 60,000 people a year, according to the World Health Organization. It's critical that exposure is identified before symptoms (which are disturbingly similar to those of the flu) begin, says the CDC, as "once a person begins to exhibit signs of the disease, survival is rare."