There is an increased level of coyote activity recently, so if you have small edible pets, be on the alert. A backyard fence may not be adequate to keep them at bay. We have also had incidents of great horned owls carrying smaller pets away. (While many of us are hoping the predators will be working on the gopher population, there are no guarantees.) Be alert! Lynn

With spring finally arriving and more outdoor activities to enjoy, one of our members recently had a somewhat close call and thought it prudent to spread the word:

You may have noticed the increased public awareness campaign on rabies. That’s because rabies moves through localized areas in cycles, and we are currently experiencing an uptick here.

In fact, one of our residents recently trapped a skunk, which tested positive for rabies.

The USDA agent who euthanized the skunk shared some interesting information and asked that it be broadcast to the entire VDO community.

Three other rabid animals were trapped in the immediate vicinity of VDO in the past few weeks. This included wild animals such as skunks, gray foxes, and so on.

If you own a pet, it is critical that it is VACCINATED and that its rabies vaccination is CURRENT!

By Arizona law, domestic animals that do not have proof of current vaccination and that come in contact with rabies are euthanized.

Recently they’ve had to put down several dogs, cats, even a horse, in Cochise County.

As the USDA puts it, domestic animals are the barrier between rabid wild animals and humans. That’s why an up-to-date rabies vaccine is critical.

So, to reiterate:

* Use caution around wild animals in the area. For example, currently 90% of gray foxes are testing positive.

* Be sure your pet’s rabies vaccine is current.

* Minimize your pet’s contact with wild animals, such as avoiding letting domestic cats run feral.

Hopefully this cycle will run its course quickly, although we should always be rabies-aware.

Hey, let’s be safe out there!

Lynn