Rabid skunks continue to pose problems in Denver

DENVER — As temperatures around Denver begin to rise and pets spend more time outside, Denver Animal Protection wants to remind residents to ensure their pets are vaccinated.

Four rabid skunks have been found in Denver in the past month — in the 4800 block of Meade Street, the 2400 block of West 26th Avenue, the 1360 block of North Zenobia Street and the 850 block of North Knox Court.

Officials don’t believe the skunks came in contact with other animals or humans.

Rabies is a viral infection that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals and is almost always fatal.

Most Colorado rabies cases are found in skunks and bats, but rabies can also affect other wildlife, pets and livestock.

Humans and domestic animals can become infected through contact with wild animals.

Animals that have rabies may show the following signs:

  • A change in behavior, such as aggression, confusion or a lack of fear around people
  • May stagger, tremble, or seem weak
  • Nocturnal animals like skunks, foxes and bats may be out during the day
  • Bats may be found on the ground, unable to fly

The Denver Animal Shelter outlined a few precautions pet owners can take to protect children and pets.

  • Do not feed, touch or adopt wild animals, and be cautious of stray dogs and cats
  • Teach children to leave wildlife alone
  • Keep your pets’ vaccinations up to date
  • Tightly close garbage cans and feed bins
  • Feed your pets indoors
  • Avoid all contact with skunks and bats

The shelter offers weekly rabies vaccinations clinics on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 to 11 a.m. for $15 per pet.