Local News

Fourth rabies case reported in Orange County

Posted April 4, 2013

— Orange County officials on Thursday reported a fourth confirmed rabies case of the year after a raccoon tested positive for the disease.

Officials said a resident near N.C. Highway 15-501 and Bennett Road in Chapel Hill heard his dog barking and fighting with an animal at a nearby creek Monday. Moments later, his dog returned to the yard carrying a dead raccoon. Animal Control responded to the house and removed the raccoon for testing.

The dog had a current rabies vaccination and will receive a booster shot within five days, which is required by state law when an animal is exposed to the virus. The dog’s owner is being evaluated to determine whether he should be given treatment for possible exposure.

The county reported 12 rabies cases last year, and officials are encouraging residents to make sure pets are vaccinated.

“Prevention is the best measure for effective rabies control,” said Bob Marotto, director of Animal Services. “Ensuring cats, dogs and ferrets are current on their rabies vaccinations is one of the most important responsibilities of a pet owner, since it can quite literally be the difference between life and death.”

The county is holding a low-cost rabies vaccination clinic from 3 to 5 p.m. April at the Animal Services Center in Chapel Hill. Rabies vaccinations will be $10, and microchips will be $25.

For more information, call 919-942-7387.


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  • hardycitrus Apr 4, 2013

    If rabies boosters aren't current, and your dog bites a person, they will test it for rabies by removing the brain. Look it up!

    And if you are bitten by a wild animal, don't shoot it in the head. It's needed for testing!

    And keep those shots current!

  • chichimama Apr 4, 2013

    Where is the date for the rabies vaccine clinic?

  • Terkel Apr 4, 2013

    Thanks to the County for this sensible and quick scheduling of a low-cost clinic. C_mom is correct - I knew someone whose outdoor, unvaccinated dog was put down for that very reason a few years ago in Wake County.

  • cocker_mom Apr 4, 2013

    Thank you for this article - 1) reminder to VACCINATE your pets. Because the pet owner was responsible, his dog only needed a booster and 2) the listing of a low cost rabies clinic.

    The only other thing to point out - if the dog had NOT been current on his vaccinations - he would have had to be euthanized (and tested for rabies) or quarantined at a facility for months - at a huge cost - both financially and emotionally.

    Don't mess around with letting rabies vaccinations expire.