Flagstaff — Due to a substantial increase in the number of rabid wild animals found in and around the Flagstaff area, the Coconino County Board of Supervisors has declared a rabies quarantine.
The quarantine, which began Wednesday, April 8, places restrictions on cats and dogs in areas in and around Flagstaff.
A map detailing the quarantine area is available at coconino.az.gov/health.
The quarantine, which will remain in effect for up to 90 days, also places certain restrictions on feeding and interacting with wildlife.
Between Oct. 31, 2008 and March 31 of this year, 14 foxes, six skunks and one ringtail cat within the Flagstaff urban area have been tested and confirmed to be infected with rabies.
Rabies is a viral infection that affects the nervous system of mammals, including humans. The disease is almost always fatal when not treated.
Rabies can be transmitted from wild animals to pets such as cats and dogs, making human exposure a real possibility.
“Because wild animals can become very aggressive when rabid, there is a high level of concern regarding public safety and the safety of domestic animals. “The quarantine has been enacted by the Coconino County Board of Supervisors in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease,” said Barbara Worgess, Coconino County Health Department (CCHD) director.
The quarantine places certain mandatory restrictions on residents within the quarantine area.
All cats and dogs must be confined within an enclosure or secured on the owner’s property; or when not on the owner’s property, pets must be on a leash no longer than six feet. Cats or dogs found at-large in the area will be impounded.
All persons within the quarantine area who own or control domesticated dogs and cats must make sure that their pets are vaccinated and that vaccinations are up to date. Vaccinations are available from your local veterinarian. To help pet owners meet this requirement, low-cost rabies vaccination clinics will be held at Second Chance Center for Animals, 11665 N. US Highway 89 in Flagstaff, on Wednesday, April 22 and Wednesday, May 13 from 1 to 5 p.m. The cost for rabies vaccinations is $6 (dogs and cats). Checks and cash payment will be accepted.