Local News

Cumberland County Fox Tests Positive For Rabies

Posted August 15, 2003

— State health officials said a fox killed after biting four people in Cumberland County this week has tested positive for rabies.

County animal control officials will be in the vicinity of Legacy Apartments and Wintrtee Villa apartments, near the intersection of Cliffdale Road and All-American Freeway, to inform residents about rabies and distribute brochures about protecting themselves, their families and pets from the disease.

The fox was tracked and shot by a Fayetteville police officer Thursday after it bit a woman at the Wintree Villas Apartments on Duncastle Road.

Around 9 p.m. Wednesday, a man and woman said they were bitten by a fox outside of the Legacy Apartments on Cliffdale Road.

Gary Robinson, the third person to be bitten by the fox said," It startled me and so I jumped back. The fox dissappeared and took my shoe with it."

Later Wednesday night, another man was bitten.

All four victims were treated at Womack Army Medical Center and received rabies vaccinations as a precautionary measure.

Cumberland County Animal Control

reminds residents that the first sign of rabies in animals is a change in behavior. Animals become aggressive, attacking for no reason, or they may become very quiet. Wild animals can lose their fear of people and act tame.

Rabid animals may walk in a circle, drag a leg, or fall over. Some cannot swallow so they are not able to eat or drink and often drool. Animals usually die within a week after first becoming ill.

Avoiding wild animals and keeping your distance from stray dogs and cats is the first step in preventing an animal bite.

If you are bitten:

  • Immediately wash the wound with lots of soap and water
  • Call local law enforcement or animal control
  • Go to the emergency room
  • It is also important to vaccinate pets for rabies and keep their shots current. North Carolina law requires dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies.

    In Cumberland County, pet owners are subject to a $100 fine for each unvaccinated dog or cat. Pets must be vaccinated when they reach the age of 4 months.


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