Rabies Prevention

Rabies is a fatal disease that can be spread from wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes to a person or pet by a bite or scratch, even if very small or barely noticeable. There is medication available for exposed people that will prevent rabies infection.

Take Precautions

  • Vaccinate your pets and/or livestock against rabies by using a licensed veterinarian. Rabies shots need to be boosted, so check your pet’s records or with your veterinarian.
  • When walking or hiking with your dog, protect them and wildlife by keeping your dog on a leash.
  • Keep cats and other pets inside at night to reduce the risk of exposure to other domestic animals and wildlife. Keep dogs within your sight (in a fenced yard, or on leash) during the day while outside.
  • Contact your veterinarian promptly if you believe your pet has been exposed to a wild animal.
  • Do not touch or feed wild animals. Wild animals like skunks and foxes adapt to residential environments if food is available – please don’t leave pet food outdoors.
  • If you or a family member is bitten or scratched by a wild or unknown animal, call your doctor and El Paso County Public Health at (719) 578-3220.
  • If you encounter a lost or stray dog or cat, contact the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region for options (719) 473-1741.
  • To report an animal bite from a domestic or wild animal, go to https://www.elpasocountyhealth.org/report-an-animal-bite

How to Recognize Sick Wildlife

  • Healthy wild animals are normally afraid of humans.
  • Sick animals often do not run away when spotted by people.
  • Wildlife suffering from rabies will often act aggressively and violently approach people or pets.
  • However, sometimes rabid animals are overly quiet and passive and want to hide. If they are hiding, leave them alone. Rabid wildlife might also stumble or have trouble walking.
  • Report sick or diseased animals to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife at (719) 227-5200.

Related Information

  • News Release: Skunks in Colorado Springs test positive for rabies
  • www.cdc.gov/rabies
  • Watch Rabies Prevention T.V. PSA - 30 seconds
  • Listen Rabies prevention interview with Consumer Advocate Show, AM1300