Multiple cats have died after being infected with the rabies virus and more than a dozen animals remain in quarantine for possible exposure to a rabid skunk several weeks ago, officials say.
Pima Animal Care Center reported 15 cats and two dogs were taken from a property in Amado after a woman reported the rabid skunk on June 4, according to an agency news release.
Four of the kittens died and two of them tested positive for rabies. It's the first case involving a domestic animal in years, PACC said.
The woman, exposed family members, neighbors and all remaining animals are being treated for rabies exposure.
Staff are keeping the two dogs in quarantine for the next 45, citing that the pair had prior rabies vaccinations.
The cats and kittens will have 120 day quarantines as they had no previous vaccination history, PACC said.
PACC recommends that Pima County residents vaccinate all of their dogs and cats against rabies and ensure they remain up to date on vaccinations. PACC has listed dates for several vaccination clinics that can be found here.
"People and mammals can get rabies from contact with saliva delivered into a bite or scratch from an infected animal," officials said. "It may take a few weeks to months for symptoms to show in infected people and animals."
"However, once symptoms of rabies start, the disease is nearly always fatal," PACC said.
Residents should immediately notify the Pima County Health Department at 520-724-7797 upon finding wildlife behaving erratically, the news release said.
"It is not normal for a wild animal to be friendly with people, so stay away from any animal that seems unafraid," the news release said.