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Coconino County’s Board of Supervisors voted to quarantine house pets in and around Flagstaff after more than 20 wild animals tested positive for rabies in the area during the last six months, the Coconino County Health Department reported.

The quarantine, which could last as long as 90 days, restricts the movement of dogs and cats, prohibits feeding and interacting with area wildlife and forbids pet owners from leaving pet food outside after sundown. Compost bins and piles must be completely enclosed, the county reported.

“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 ... in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease,” stated Barbara Worgess, Coconino County Health Department director.

Between October 31, 2008 and March 31, 14 foxes, six skunks and one ringtail cat within the Flagstaff urban area were confirmed to be infected with rabies.

Rabies is a viral infection that 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.

According to the quarantine order, all cats and dogs must be confined within an enclosure or secured on the owner’s property; pets must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet when taken outside the enclosure.

Cats or dogs found at large in the area will be impounded, the county reported.

All persons with domesticated dogs and cats inside the quarantine area must make sure rabies vaccinations are up to date for their pets.

Wild animals may not be trapped within the quarantine area or transported outside the area without prior written approval from the health department.

Low-cost rabies vaccination clinics are scheduled at Second Chance Center for Animals, 11665 N. S.R. 89 in Flagstaff on Wednesday, April 22, and Wednesday, May 13, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The quarantine area includes, but is not limited to:

Northeast of Flagstaff: Entire Mount Elden area including the trail system, Paradise Hills, Shadow Mountain, Skyline, Swiss Manor, Upper Greenlaw, Lower Greenlaw, Sunnyside, Mobile Haven, Christmas Tree, Smokerise, Timberview Village, E Rt. 66 Industrial, Flag Mall Industrial, and north on Hwy. 89 to Silver Saddle, portions of Doney Park within a mile of Hwy 89.

Southeast of Flagstaff: Sinagua Heights, Falcon Ridge, Foxglenn, Foxlair, Elk Run, Coconino Country Club, Continental Country Club, Lakeside Acres, Amberwood, Walnut Ridge, and Walnut Meadows.

Northwest of Flagstaff: Cheshire/Peak View, Valley Crest, Coyote Spring, South Fort Valley, Lockett Ranches, Northridge, Coconino Estates Area, Mount Elden, Switzer Mesa, Pinecrest, Flagstaff Townsite, and Flagstaff Old Town.


Greg Ruland

Larson Newspapers

 

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