Health and Human Services Agency

Animal Services

(530) 621-5795


(Placerville, CA) - El Dorado County Animal Services is reminding residents to keep pets current on rabies vaccines and notify Animal Services of any animal bite. According to Henry Brzezinski, Chief of Animal Services, El Dorado County is an officially declared rabies endemic area, as are all counties in California. "This means that rabies is always present in our County," said Brzezinski. "Every year we find rabid animals here, so vigilance is important."

Animal Services recently identified two skunks in the same general vicinity in the County that tested positive for rabies. One of the skunks was found in the 7600 block of Amalgam Street in El Dorado and one was found in the 7700 block of Crystal Boulevard in El Dorado. Last May, a rabid skunk was found in the 5600 block of Pony Express Trail in Pollock Pines.

In 2018, Animal Services identified seven animals in El Dorado County (four skunks and three bats) that tested positive for rabies. Historically, most of the rabid animals in El Dorado County are identified on the County's West Slope, with smaller numbers reported in the South Lake Tahoe area, according to Brzezinski.

Rabies is a virus spread through the bite and saliva of an infected animal. It is usually fatal to pets and humans if not treated shortly after exposure. Although any animal can become infected with the rabies virus, bats, skunks and fox are most commonly the animals found to have the virus. Comprehensive rabies vaccination programs in the United States have meant that rabies among domestic pets is uncommon. However, a domestic cat recently tested positive for rabies in Fresno County.

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 prevent entry of wild animals into the home
  • Never approach, pick up, feed or handle unfamiliar dogs, cats or wild animals
  • Don't approach an animal that seems sick or aggressive; report it to Animal Services
  • Don't touch a dead animal with bare hands
  • Call Animal Services if an animal shows signs of rabies (such as staggering, confusion or aggressive behavior)
  • Notify Animal Services immediately if a person or pet is bitten or exposed to a suspected rabid animal
  • Immediately notify Animal Services if you find a bat alive or dead in your bedroom

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

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