Pueblo, CO June 1, 2021The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment confirmed a skunk was positive for rabies. The skunk was from the Avondale area in Pueblo County. The sluggish skunk was active during daylight hours and bit a pet dog. The skunk was sent to a lab for testing and it was confirmed the skunk was positive with rabies.

Rabies is caused by a virus transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. Rabies can also be transmitted if the infected animal’s saliva gets into a cut or break in the skin or through the eyes, nose, or mouth,” stated Vicki Carlton, Program Manager at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.

Carlton added, “It is important for any pets and livestock in the Avondale area who may have had contact with a skunk to be examined immediately by a licensed veterinarian. Rabies is deadly to both humans and animals once symptoms begin; therefore, it is important when a person or pet has contact with wildlife to seek medical or veterinary care immediately.”

To protect pets from rabies it is important to vaccinate pets through a licensed veterinarian.

Contact the United States Department of Agriculture (719) 355-9629 for collection and notify the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment at 583-4307 to report an incident with a wild animal.

To avoid exposure to rabies:

  • Never touch a wild animal.
  • If you are bitten by a wild animal, wash the bite thoroughly with soap and water and then contact both your physician and the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.
  • Make sure your pets are vaccinated against rabies. Keep in mind that vaccines not administered by a licensed veterinarian are not considered valid vaccinations in the State of Colorado, including Pueblo County.
  • If your pet has been exposed to wildlife contact your veterinarian and report the incident to the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.
  • Protect your dog from wildlife by walking your dog on a leash.

For additional information about rabies visit pueblohealth.org.

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