10/16/2013 11:22:00 AM Editorial We need to take seriously the threat of rabies
Near Coyote Springs outside Prescott Valley this past Thursday, two hunters stopped to open a gate and encountered a bobcat under a bush. The cat ran under their truck and, when one of the men bent to look at it, it attacked him, causing deep lacerations, punctures and scratches.
The other hunter tried to get the animal off of his friend, and also was injured. One of the men shot the bobcat, and, in some smart thinking under pressure, they took themselves, and the animal, to the hospital in Prescott Valley.
While the men, as a precaution, were being treated for exposure to rabies, Game and Fish picked up the bobcat and took it to Phoenix for testing. Results returned Friday confirmed the cat was rabid.
Rabies is an infectious disease that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals. People and unvaccinated animals may get rabies from the bite of an infected animal, or if saliva from the animal gets directly into a person or animal's eyes, nose, mouth or any break in the skin.
We need to need the warnings of health officials when it comes to rabies. The disease is life threatening to people and pets.
Don't approach any wild animals and keep watch for any unusual behavior from wildlife, such as lethargy, no fear of humans, being overly aggressive, or nocturnal animals being overly active during the day. Teach your children to stay away from any strange animal.
Make sure your pets are current on their rabies vaccinations. Local veterinary hospitals and the Yavapai Humane Society conduct low cost vaccination clinics on a regular basis. Take the time to protect your pet and yourself.
Those witnessing abnormal behavior should contact Game and Fish at 800-352-0700.
For more information on rabies in Arizona, visit the Arizona Department of Health Services website at http://www.azdhs.gov/phs/oids/vector/rabies/index.htm.
Posted: Saturday, October 19, 2013
Article comment by:
I am writing to find out who I needed to contact about picking up a skunk that was attacked and badly injured by my dog in my fenced back yard at 3 A.M on a Friday in September. I called animal control that same day to ask that the skunk be picked up and to be checked for rabies. I was told that no one was in at animal control and the animal could not be picked up until the following Monday. The person I spoke with told me that they did not know where I could get the skunk checked for rabies. I called another number that I can not remember now but got no satisfaction from that number. I will state that from what I have read about rabies that the skunk did not look like it was rabid . What bothers me is shouldn't someone know what I could have done. I am not a young person and I really needed some help. Maybe the police department could have helped but I did not call them.