Animal Services

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  • Phone: 970-328-3647
    Fax: 970-328-2442

    Animal Services
    P.O. Box 57
    1400 Fairgrounds Road
    Eagle, Colorado 81631 

    animalservices@eaglecounty.us

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Rabid bat found in West Vail; Eagle County reminds people to vaccinate their pets

Contact: Shawn Markmann, Director of Animal Services, 970-328-2444 or shawn.markmann@eaglecounty.us

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has advised Eagle County Animal Services that a bat submitted for analysis has tested positive for rabies. This is the first laboratory confirmed case of animal rabies in Eagle County this year. The bat was found in West Vail; all known individuals with possible contact have been notified and no human or pet exposure to the disease is suspected.

Rabies is a virus that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals. People and animals can contract rabies from a bite or contact with saliva of a rabid animal. Shawn Markmann, Director of Eagle County Animal Services, notes that it is important to remember not to touch wildlife or stray animals. “If a wild animal allows a person to approach and handle it, the animal is probably ill or injured and will bite in self-defense; a healthy animal usually will remain well-hidden and avoid human contact,” said Markmann.

Other signs of rabies in animals include abnormal behavior such as nocturnal species being active in the day; animals approaching humans or other animals; difficulty with walking or movement. Such signs are an indication the animal is ill. Some animals with rabies will be very aggressive while others may show a lack of movement and activity. Suspected rabid animals should be avoided and reported to Eagle County Animal Services.

All dogs and cats in the county must have documentation of a current rabies vaccination and all dogs must be licensed with Eagle County Animal Services. According to Markmann, this is the single, best way to protect your pets and family from this deadly disease. Pet owners are encouraged to contact their veterinarian to get pets up to date on rabies vaccinations.

If you are bitten by an animal or for more information, contact Eagle County Animal Services at 970-328-3647.