Public Health

Animal Services

(530) 621-5795

El Dorado County Animal Services is reporting that a rabid skunk was found in the Pleasant Valley area on Pleasant Valley Road, near Grindstone Road and White Rose Lane. An Animal Services Officer was called to the scene around noon on April 24, 2015, after a member of the public observed the skunk showing signs of rabies. The officer retrieved the skunk and sent it to the El Dorado County Public Health Laboratory for testing. Test results came back positive for rabies on April 27.

“Animal Services is not aware of any reports of human or pet contact with the rabid skunk at this time,” said Henry Brzezinski, Chief of Animal Services. “However, we did want to let the community know as a precaution.”

This is the third rabid skunk identified in El Dorado County in 2015; a rabid skunk was found on February 10, 2015, in Placerville and another on February 27, 2015, in El Dorado. Animal Services is not aware of any human contact with the skunks. In 2014, a total of fourteen rabid skunks were found in various locations throughout El Dorado County. 

Animal Services is reminding residents that rabies is present in El Dorado County and prevention efforts are important for everyone. “It is critical that pet owners keep their pets current on their rabies vaccinations and report all animal bites and possible rabies exposures,” said Brzezinski. “Rabies is spread through the bite and saliva of an infected animal. Without a vaccination and prompt bite reporting, pets can acquire rabies and pass it on to people and pets. Left untreated, rabies is almost always fatal.” 

To prevent the spread of rabies:

  • Keep dogs, cats and other pets current on rabies vaccinations
  • Keep property free of garbage, stored bird seed, and left over pet food to avoid attracting wild animals
  • Do not approach, pick up or handle any unfamiliar dogs, cats or wild animals
  • Report any exposure to bats; bats are common carriers of rabies in California
  • Call Animal Services if you see an animal exhibiting signs of rabies
  • Notify Animal Services immediately of any person or animal bitten or potentially exposed to a rabid or suspected rabid animal

Rabid animals usually stop eating and drinking, and may want to be left alone. After these initial symptoms, the animal may become vicious or show signs of paralysis (e.g., difficulty walking, staggering, confusion, etc.). Once the animal starts to have signs of paralysis, the disease spreads very quickly and the animal dies. It is estimated that rabies kills over 50,000 people worldwide each year; cases are mostly seen in underdeveloped countries that don’t have rabies control programs.

For more information about rabies, including prevention tips, visit Animal Services’ website at: Animal Services may be reached at (530) 621-5795 in the Placerville area or (530) 573-7925 in South Lake Tahoe.

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