Rabid skunk is County's first case of rabies in 2013, officials - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Rabid skunk is County's first case of rabies in 2013, officials say

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CALDWELL COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

On April 16, Caldwell County Animal Control was notified by the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health that a skunk submitted for testing was infected with the rabies virus, the first case for the County this year.

On April 13, a resident on Red Shoals Place in the Morris Creek community of Caldwell County contacted Animal Control and reported that there was a sick skunk on his property. Animal Control Director Greg Greene responded to the property and found the skunk to be in a dog lot with three dogs.

Before Greene could dispatch the skunk he saw two of the three dogs get attacked by the skunk. After dispatching the skunk, he spoke with the owner of the dogs and found that all three dogs had made contact with the animal.

The three dogs had not received a rabies vaccine, officials said.

Greene took the skunk to the Animal Shelter and prepared it for rabies testing. The dogs were also taken and placed in quarantine pending the outcome of the rabies test.

Because the skunk tested positive, Animal Control will be required to euthanize the unvaccinated dogs.

Officials urge the public to ensure your pet's rabies vaccinations are current as this will help to ensure the life of your animal.

People can protect themselves and their pets from rabies by taking a few simple precautions:

  • Make sure all your companion animals are up to date on their rabies vaccinations.  They should always wear their license tags.
  • Supervise your pets to prevent exposure. 
  • If a bat is found inside your home you should contact Animal Care & Control
  • If your animal is exposed to a potentially rabid animal wear glove to protect yourself from the infectious saliva that may be on your animal's coat.
  • Teach your children to stay away from wild animals including bats or animals they don't know.
  • Avoid attracting wildlife to your home by removing food sources such as food scraps and removing cat and dog food at night.
  • Skunks and other wild animals are scavengers and search for sources of food.  It is important to keep all garbage containers sealed tightly and especially areas of high food disposal.  This also pertains to pet food bowls.
  • When your pet finishes eating, clean out the bowl to avoid other animals from getting the food and keep discarded foods inaccessible to animals to lessen the chance of them coming to your residence or business to look for food.

If there are any questions concerning rabies and its prevention, please contact the Animal Care & Control Division of the Caldwell County Health Department at 1966-B Morganton Blvd. Lenoir, NC 28645 or call 828-757-8625.

If there is an emergency situation outside the normal working hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, please notify the Caldwell County Sheriff Department at 828-758-2324.

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