Coyote spurs reminder to keep animals up to date on shots


By Randi Pierce

Staff Writer

A case involving a euthanized coyote in the Aspen Springs area is causing officials to remind pet owners to ensure their pets and domestic livestock are up to date for their rabies vaccination.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) officials confirmed this week that a coyote was put down in the Aspen Springs subdivision recently, with the animal’s carcass in the process of possibly being tested for rabies out of an abundance of caution.

Joe Lewandowski, Southwest Region public information officer for CPW, informed The SUN in an email that Nate Martinez, a wildlife officer, got a call from a resident of Aspen Springs about a coyote hanging around. 

“It wasn’t moving much, visibly foaming at the mouth, hunched over and haggard. He put it down and the carcass is being turned over to San Juan Basin Public Health which will work with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to get it tested for disease. Without testing, there’s no way to know if it’s rabid,” the email states.

Lewandowski noted that Martinez reported talking to some residents and the coyote didn’t have any contact with humans or pets in the area. 

SJBPH Environmental Health Director Brian Devine, though, told The SUN Wednesday SJBPH does not know if the sample will be valid for testing, and noted the coyote is being tested out of an abundance of caution and not because it is a suspected rabies case.

Devine noted that zoonotic diseases are reported through the spring, summer and fall.

Both agencies noted pet owners should make sure their animals’ shots are up to date. Also, if people see animals that appear sick, they should avoid them and call the CPW office at (970) 247-0855 or local law enforcement.