Rabies is an infectious viral disease that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals. People get rabies from the bite of an animal infected with rabies. Any wild mammal, like a raccoon, skunk, fox, coyote, or bat can have rabies and transmit it to people and other animals. Dogs and cats and other domestic animals can also transmit rabies.
Because rabies is a fatal disease, the goals of MCACC are to prevent human exposure through education; respond to any cases in which exposure to a rabid animal might have occurred; impound an animal suspected of rabies for quarantine or laboratory testing to determine if exposure occurred.
MCACC monitors animals that come into out care for rabies. All dogs that have bitten are required by law to be quarantined for ten days. The place of quarantine depends on a number if factors, including if the dog has a current rabies vaccination, is licensed and the severity of the bite. Dogs that were not leashed at the time of the bite, do not have a Maricopa County dog license or current rabies vaccination are usually quarantined at one of our Animal Care and Control Centers or a veterinarian's office. Animals that are vaccinated and licensed at the time of the bite can be quarantined in the owner's home at the discretion of the MCACC Officer.
MCACC only holds the dog for rabies observation purposes. If the dog has rabies, the dog will manifest signs of the disease within ten days. The dog is not held for being vicious. If a vicious dog petition is not filed within ten days, the owner will have the opportunity to get their dog back.
For more information about rabies in Arizona, please visit the Arizona Department of Health Services. You can learn more by visiting the National Center for Disease Control.
Protect your pet against rabies and get them vaccinated! Vaccinations are an important part of your dog or cat�s health care routine. By vaccinating your pet, you protect him or her from various diseases including rabies, distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, feline leukemia and others. These diseases are transmitted via contact with the bacteria or virus in feces, saliva and other bodily fluids. Some are stable only inside an animal while others exist for months outside the pet in the ground or on objects. Learn more about the importance of vaccinations.
Schools – learn about rabies prevention on your campus.
Show your kids this video about bats and rabies to keep them safe.