Skunk tests positive for rabies in Pueblo County

PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - A skunk tested positive for rabies in Pueblo County.

The health department announced the discovery on Wednesday, marking the first skunk to test positive for rabies in the county since 2014. Multiple skunks have tested positive for the disease in El Paso County this year.

“It is important to protect pets and livestock from rabies with a rabies vaccination. Make sure rabies vaccine is up-to-date. That is the only way to protect your pet or livestock from rabies if they have contact with a rabid animal,” stated Vicki Carlton, program manager at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. Carlton added, “Rabid skunks may be found near houses attempting to interact with people, pets, and livestock, as a skunk was reported in the Belmont area near the Fountain Creek acting aggressive towards people during day time.”

When a skunk or other wildlife is out during daylight hours acting abnormally, such as stumbling or acting overly aggressive, the health department asks the public to stay away and keep children and pets away from the wild animal. Call Scott Phillips, Wildlife Specialist at the United States Department of Agriculture, to report the location 719-569-1906. If you see traps set near the Fountain Creek trail, do not touch the traps, or if an animal is in the trap, notify Phillips.

Key rabies prevention steps from the county health department:
·Ensure dogs, cats, and ferrets are up-to-date with their vaccination for rabies from a licensed veterinarian.

·Discuss vaccinating horses and other livestock with your veterinarian.

-Do not feed wild animals or allow pets around wild animals. Teach children to stay away from wild animals.

-Do not keep pet food outside, as that may attract wild animals.

-Protect all pets, particularly animals too young to be vaccinated, from contact with wild animals. Vaccinate puppies and kittens for rabies as early as three months old.

-Contact a veterinarian if a dog or cat is bitten or scratched by wild animals, such as skunks, bats, foxes, or raccoons.

-If bitten by a wild or domestic animal, contact a physician and Pueblo Animal Services at 719-544-3005 immediately.