Public Health

Animal Services

(530) 621-5795

El Dorado County Animal Services has identified at least nine wild animals with rabies this year in the County. Health officials are reminding residents to keep their pets current on rabies vaccines, and to notify Animal Services of any animal bite or unusual animal behavior. The rabid animals included one fox, one bat and seven skunks.

 According to Henry Brzezinski, Chief of Animal Services, El Dorado County is an officially declared rabies area. “We find rabid wild animals every year in El Dorado County, so the need for vigilance is important,” said Brzezinski. “Our residents are our first line of defense against rabies. It is very important that domestic pets remain current on their rabies vaccinations (especially cats) and that animal bites are reported.”

 Rabies activity varies from year to year in El Dorado County. Historically, most rabid animals have been identified on the West Slope of the County, with smaller numbers reported in the South Lake Tahoe area. Locations where the rabid animals were found so far this year included Placerville, Pollock Pines, Diamond Springs, Somerset and El Dorado Hills. Three of these rabid animals (skunks) were identified within the city limits of Placerville, in the upper area of Broadway, over the last 30 days.

 Rabies is a virus spread through the bite and saliva of an infected animal and is usually fatal to pets and humans if not treated shortly after exposure. To prevent the spread of rabies:

  • Maintain current rabies vaccinations for dogs, cats and livestock 
  • Keep property free of garbage, stored bird seed and left over pet food to avoid attracting wild animals; keep pet doors closed at night to avoid entry of wild animals into the home
  • Do not approach, pick up, feed or handle unfamiliar dogs, cats or wild animals
  • Do not approach an animal that looks sick or is acting aggressively; report it to Animal Services
  • Do not touch any dead animal with your bare hands
  • Call Animal Services if you see an animal that shows signs of rabies (such as staggering, confusion and/or aggressive behavior)
  • Notify Animal Services immediately of any person or domestic pet that is bitten or potentially exposed to a rabid or suspected rabid animal
  • Immediately notify Animal Services or Public Health if you find a bat alive or dead in your sleeping quarters/bedroom; bats are one of the most frequent carriers of rabies in California

For more information about rabies or Animal Services, visit To reach Animal Services staff by phone, please call (530) 621-5795 in the Placerville area or at (530) 573-7925 in South Lake Tahoe.

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