Rabies warning and measures to protect your family

Rabies is fatal and so proper precautions must to taken to avoid this deadly disease. Recently, a deceased cow in the Pima County area tested positive for the disease.

Arizona citizens are encouraged to be diligent in protecting themselves and their families against rabies.

“As part of our mission in protecting the public, we want to ensure the public has all the available information to protect themselves, their pets and their families,” said Mark Killian, Director, Arizona Department of Agriculture.

Here are preventative measures for safety:

1) Ensure pets are current on their rabies vaccine and properly tagged. Call your local veterinarian or the Santa Cruz County Animal Care and Control Services at (520)761-7860 for more information.

2) Discuss rabies vaccinations for your livestock, including horses, with your local veterinarian. Any recent unexplained deaths that may have occurred on your farm, ranch or property should be reported to your veterinarian or the State Veterinarian’s Office (602-542-4293).

3) Keep pets on a leash when outside a fenced yard! This will keep them safe.

4) Enjoy wildlife from a distance! Do not attempt to feed, approach, or touch wild animals. Do NOT shoot healthy appearing animals merely due to this warning. If you see a wild animal acting abnormally* report it to Arizona Game & Fish Department officials at (623)237-7201. Hunters should wear rubber gloves when skinning any wild animal, even if the animal appears healthy.

5) Do NOT trap and relocate skunks! This could spread rabies to other areas.

6) If you are bitten by an animal: wash the exposed site immediately with soap and water and seek medical care. Report the bite to the local animal control or public health officials.

*Note: Rabid animals may show no fear of people, even appearing friendly. Rabid bats typically fall to the ground where they become accessible to kids and pets. For more information about rabies call the Arizona Department of Health Services at (602) 364-3676, or visit their website at www.azdhs.gov.