Local News

Durham County authorities issue rabies warning

Posted February 5, 2013

— The Durham County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday advised residents to have all pets vaccinated for rabies after investigators confirmed the county's first case in a dead raccoon. 

Investigators responded to a home in the 2300 block of Strawberry Lane in Durham Jan. 29 after a resident reported finding a dead raccoon in her yard.

The raccoon, which appeared to have been killed by another animal, was taken to the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health and tested for rabies, authorities said. Two days later, a lab confirmed the raccoon had been infected with rabies.

Shortly after announcing the first case of rabies, the county received word Tuesday of a second confirmed case.

A resident in the 2300 block of Alabama Avenue called animal services officers Saturday to report a dead raccoon in his yard. The state lab confirmed the animal had rabies.

Durham County had no confirmed cases of rabies in 2012. 

"This is an excellent example of why we encourage people to keep their pets current on the rabies vaccine," Lt. Brendan Hartigan, of the sheriff's office's Animal Services Division, said in a statement. "You never know if your dog or cat might encounter a wild animal that's infected with rabies."

The Animal Services Division, located at 3005 Glenn Rd. in Durham, offers rabies vaccines every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m. No appointments are necessary, but photo identification is required and the $15 fee must be paid in cash. 

Avoiding wild animals and keeping your distance from stray dogs and cats is the first step in preventing an animal bite. Any pet which appears to have been in a fight while outside should be handled very cautiously and seen by a veterinarian.

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal:

  • Immediately wash the wound under running water for at least 10 minutes with lots of soap. Seek medical attention/advice.
  • Call animal control at 919-560-0630 Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call the sheriff’s office at 919-560-0900 after 5 p.m., weekends and holidays.
  • Go to the emergency room.

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  • Wenchmaid Feb 6, 2013

    Good to know about the Durham rabies clinics. I thought Durham didn't have any.

  • nano Feb 6, 2013

    I agree with 1911A1: people really do need to keep cats indoors. Bad for kitty, local wildlife, and your kitty may get killed by dogs, coyotes or cars. In fact, cats get rabies more often than dogs, simply because they're outside and roaming more. Yet another reason to keep cats indoors: rabies.

  • nano Feb 6, 2013

    It's not just your pets you're protecting by having your dogs and cats vaccinated; it's you and your family. Rabies is endemic in NC; it's irresponsible for people to not vaccinate their pets. If you can't afford the $15 for the vaccinations, check with your vet for the less expensive options (but as somebody already pointed out, if you can't afford the $15, maybe don't have a dog or cat).

  • 1911A1 Feb 5, 2013

    Sure wish my neighboors would keep their cats indoors

  • snoflak22 Feb 5, 2013

    Reminder - it does not matter if you keep your pets indoors, it is ILLEGAL not to vaccinate dogs, cats, or ferrets over 4 months of age for rabies in the state of NC.

  • chattycat Feb 5, 2013

    There are many $5.00 rabues clinics in Wake County throughout the year. There is absolutely no excuse to not have your pets vaccinated. Like said before, if you can't pay $5.00, you should not have a pet.

  • chattycat Feb 5, 2013

    and that's why my pets are indoor pets.


    And many other reasons my cats are all indoors.

  • riverlover Feb 5, 2013

    If Durham Animal Control really cared about preventing the spread of rabies, they wouldn't be price gouging it's citizens with this ridiculous $15 for a rabies vaccine...I can go elsewhere and get vaccines for $5 and/or $6 depending on place.

  • lrfarms27572 Feb 5, 2013

    PLEASE EVERYONE!! vaccinate your pets-it can save you heartache and save your pet from possible death due to NOT being vaccinated. Small price to pay. If you can't afford the $15.00 then YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO HAVE A PET!!!


    its not the $15 fee to vaccinate, it's the $150 bill per pet from the county that's the problem.

    I'm pretty sure Durham county would tax the air you breath if they could come up with a system, Orange county too.

  • lrfarms27572 Feb 5, 2013

    That's it, Durham County, urge everyone to get their pets vaccinated but keep penalizing them for doing so. For those not aware, Durham County forces veterinarians to turn over all records of rabies vaccinations so the County can then tax the pet owners.


    every dog I had when I moved to Durham county suddenly died after getting vaccinated