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Weld County dealing with rabid skunks; At least 14 dogs exposed, health department says

Posted at 8:50 PM, Dec 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-09 00:48:39-05

WELD COUNTY, Colo. -- At least five rabid skunks have been causing some problems for people and their pets across Weld County, according to the sheriffs department. 

Fourteen dogs have been exposed, as well as four people who handled their exposed pets.

One of those dogs is Scott Melton's, who came face-to-face with a rabid skunk. 

"He was real ratty looking and he was being real aggressive toward my dog, so I got the dog back in the house," Melton said. "Then (the skunk) came after me and he was coming right at me so I had to shoot him."

The local health department tested the skunk and confirmed it was positive for rabies. 

"And everyone around here has a dog. It could've been anybody and if they get bit that's not good," Melton added.

All dogs who were exposed to rabid skunks have been required to undergo a 45-day quarantine.  

“Coincidentally, my wife had just taken him the day earlier to get his rabies shot,“ Melton said. 

Health department officials said the best way to prevent the virus is by getting your pets vaccinated. But the sheriff's office added that four of the exposed dogs were puppies, too young to get the shot. 

Both Melton the and health department want people to be aware and keep an extra eye on their pets.