Health and Human Services Agency





(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. Last week, Animal Services identified a skunk on the 5600 block of Pony Express Trail in Pollock Pines that tested positive for rabies. This is the second rabid skunk to be found in El Dorado County in the past six months.

According to Henry Brzezinski, Chief of Animal Services, El Dorado County is an officially declared rabies endemic area. "This means that rabies is always present in our County," said Brzezinski. "Every year we find rabid animals in the County, so vigilance is important."

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

Rabies is a virus spread through the bite and saliva of an infected animal. It's 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 prevent entry of wild animals into the home
  • Don't 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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