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Rabies Prevention

Rabies in increasing in wildlife along Colorado's Front Range, placing both humans and animals at risk for this deadly disease.

Rabies is a viral disease that causes severe inflammation in the brain and spinal cord and is nearly always fatal. Rabies is transmitted in saliva through animal bites.

Skunks and bats are the most significant sources of rabies in Colorado, but other wild animals can also be infected. Rabid animals usually show abnormal behavior, such as aggression, confusion, or lack of fear of people.

Dogs, cats, horses and livestock can become infected if they are bitten by rabid animals. Contact with infected wild or domestic animals places you and your family at risk for rabies infection. Immediate medical treatment is required if a person or domestic animal is exposed to rabies.

Who to contact about rabid animals

If you or a family member has been in contact with an animal that could have rabies, seek medical attention immediately and contact your local health department. If you live in Adams, Arapahoe or Douglas Counties, call Tri-County Health Department at 303-220-9200.
Exposure / Medical Attention (CDC)

• If your dog, cat, horse or livestock animal has been been in contact with an animal that could have rabies, seek veterinary attention and contact your local health department.

• If you are having other problems with wildlife, then call the Colorado Division of Wildlife 303-297-1192.

• If you are having other problems with stray dogs or cats, then call your local animal control agency. They are on-call 24 hours a day.
Local animal control agency list

I Vaccinate All My Animals Against Rabies

The best way to protect your family and animals against rabies is to have your dogs, cats, horses and livestock vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian. Vaccinating your animals is simple, inexpensive and could save lives.

So don't procrastinate—vaccinate!

In addition to vaccinating your pets, horses and livestock, follow these precautions to prevent exposure to rabies:

Do not feed wild animals. Store household garbage in a secure location; fence or screen vegetable gardens and orchards; and place bird feeders where they are not accessible to other animals. Keep pet food inside and do not leave livestock feed containers open.

Do not touch or handle wild animals. Most wild animals try to avoid human contact. If an animal lets you get close or pick it up, it is probably unhealthy or dangerous. Teach children to leave wildlife alone.

Protect your home from wildlife. Close holes around the foundation of your house; cover window sills; screen chimneys and vents; and seal cracks and holes larger than 1/4 inch in diameter. Remove debris on your property that could provide nesting areas for wildlife.

Maintain control of your pets. Keep your cat indoors or attach a bell to its collar to discourage it from hunting. Keep your dog under direct supervision. Do not allow your dog to run off-leash in parks or wilderness areas.

Spay or neuter your pets. This will reduce the number of unwanted or stray animals in your community.

Print a Brochure
Print a Rabies Fact Sheet
Living Safely with Wildlife
Video - Rabies is on the Rise

For more information about rabies:

Agencies, Links and Information:
Animal Control Agencies
Boulder County Public Health
County Government Listings
Colorado Department of Agriculture
Colorado Division of Wildlife
Colorado Horse Development Authority
Colorado Horses Economic Report
Colorado Veterinary Medical Association
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society
Denver Dumb Friends League
Denver Environmental Health

El Paso County Health Dept.
Elbert County Health Dept.
Español / Spanish (CDC)
Exposure / Medical Attention (CDC)
Fact Sheet
Health Departments in Colorado
Jefferson County Public Health
Larimer County Health Department
Prevention - Animals (CDC)
Prevention - People (CDC)
Rabies Fact Sheet
State Health Dept. (CDPHE)
Tri-County Health Department
Video - Rabies is on the Rise
Weld County Dept. of Health

For Healthcare Professionals:
Diagnostic Labs (CDC)
Doctors / Hospitals (CDC)
Exposure / Medical Attention (CDC)
Veterinarians (CDC)

Downloadable Educational Materials:
Brochure - 8.5 x 11
City Handout - 8.5 x 11
City Poster - 11 x 17
Farm Handout - 8.5 x 11
Farm Poster - 11 x 17
Campaign Logos - 8.5 x 11
Rabies Fact Sheet
Living Safely with Wildlife
Rabies Tag Website Icon

Related Tri-County Pages:
Animal-Borne Diseases
Environmental Health
Immunizations / Rabies Shots

For more information about the statewide campaign, contact

This campaign is a partnership among Boulder County Public Health, Colorado Association of Animal Control Officers, Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Federation of Animal Welfare Agencies, Colorado Horse Council, Colorado Horse Development Authority, Colorado Veterinary Medical Association, Denver Environmental Health, El Paso Department of Health, Elbert County Health Department, Jefferson County Public Health, Larimer County Health Department, Tri-County Health Department (Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties), Weld County Health Department and the Westernaires Precision Horse Drill Team.

PDF files can be viewed and printed
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