The Arizona Department of Health Services and the Arizona Game and Fish Department recommend the following precautions to reduce a chance encounter with a rabid animal:
• Keep people and pets away from wild animals. Do not pick up, touch, or feed wild animals, especially sick or wounded ones. If someone has been bitten or scratched, or has had contact with the animal, report it immediately to animal control or health officials.
• Do not “rescue” seemingly abandoned young wild animals. Usually, the mother will return. If the mother is dead or has not returned in a reasonable time frame (usually several hours), call the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
• Vaccinate all dogs and cats against rabies. Pets should be kept in a fenced yard and on a leash in the field to minimize the chances of a wildlife encounter
• Take precautions when camping, hunting or fishing. Avoid sleeping on the open ground without the protection of a closed tent or camper.
• Do not disturb roosting bats. If you find a bat on the ground, don’t touch it. Report the bat and its location to your local animal control officer or health department. Place a box over the bat to contain it. Be careful not to damage the bat in any way since it must be intact for rabies testing.