Rabies in Maricopa County: Why You Should and Shouldn't Be Terrified; Plus, Here's a Free Pets-Vaccination Spot

As we reported back in January, 2009 was the most rabid year in Arizona history, with 261 animals testing positive for the disease, which is an alarming 85 more than 2008.

The outbreak got so bad in Santa Cruz and Coconino counties that county-wide quarantines were issued. The quarantines forced county residents to keep their dogs inside or on a leash at all times and to bring pets' food inside to avoid having a rabid animal get saliva on it.

Now, the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control center wants your pets vaccinated against rabies and is offering free rabies shots on Wednesday.

Just how terrified should you be about your pet getting a case of rabies? According to the MCACC, not very, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

"There hasn't been a case of rabies in a domestic pet in Maricopa County in 10 years," MCACC spokeswoman Aprille Hollis tells New Times, "but the potential is still there."

Hollis says rabies is present in Maricopa County, and it's preventative measures like keeping pets vaccinated that keeps the numbers down.

Rabies is rare in humans, but once someone develops symptoms of the disease, it is almost always fatal, and Hollis says keeping your pet from contracting it is a good way to make sure you don't get it.

If you're someone who doesn't think having rabies would suck too bad, click here -- we bet you'll change your mind.

The MCACC will be administering free vaccines Wednesday morning from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. in the Ace Hardware parking lot at 23954 S. Power Road in Queen Creek. Dogs must be on a leash less than six feet long and cats need to be in carriers.