Onslow County, NC – Laboratory tests performed Monday, June 19, 2012, on a fox that attacked and bit a resident of Lafitte Drive in Hubert came back positive for rabies, according to the State Health Department. This is the 3rd positive rabies case in Onslow County since January 2012. The most recent positive rabies case occurred on March 20, 2012, when Onslow County Animal Control Officers responded to a call in Richlands concerning a rabid fox.
“We remind all pet owners to have their dogs and cats vaccinated annually,” says Alan Davis, Animal Services Director, “Vaccinations are essential to protecting cats and dogs against rabies, and are the first line of defense against human infection.” Davis also stated that Onslow County Animal Services will increase its surveillance in the rabies alert area and impound any stray cats or dogs.
To protect the public against rabies, the Onslow County Health Department and Onslow County Animal Services recommend the following:
- Pet owners are reminded to have cats and dogs vaccinated for rabies every year
- Keep pets away from wildlife especially at night, when wildlife is most active.
- Children and adults should exercise extreme caution around stray or wild animals. Do not touch or feed wild animals
- Stay away from animals that appear to be ill or behaving strangely. Rabid animals do not always appear ill or vicious.
- Never leave pet food outside as this attracts wildlife.
- Tightly close garbage cans and dumpsters; open trash attracts wild animals.
- If bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately clean the wound with soap and water, and then seek medical attention.
Individuals are reminded that if they do witness animals exhibiting erratic or unusual behavior to contact Animal Services immediately. For additional information, please contact Onslow County Animal Services (910) 455-0182.