The Pinal County Public Health Department issued a rabies alert this week after two men were bitten by animals that tested positive for rabies. A man was attacked by a bobcat while walking his dog in Oracle on Dec. 23. Another man was bitten by a skunk a few days earlier in San Manuel, according to Heather Murphy, spokeswoman for Pinal County.
The alert, which was issued on Tuesday, is a reminder for people to stay away from animals acting suspiciously. Pets should be kept inside or on short leashes, Murphy said.
Potential rabies exposure usually happens through a bite, but animals and people also can be exposed by handling dead animals, Murphy said. Residents are urged to get their pets vaccinated.
Those who believe their pets have been exposed to rabies should call the Pinal County Public Health Department at (520) 866-7347 or the Pinal County Animal Care and Control Center at (520) 509-3555.
This year 11 animals submitted for laboratory testing tested positive for rabies, according to information from Pinal County. In addition to the bobcat, there were seven rabid bats and three skunks.