Local News

Mom recounts horrific encounter with rabid fox

Posted May 7, 2012

— Protecting her children was all Kristie Burden could think of last Thursday when a rabid fox went after her children at Wakelon School Park in Zebulon.

"My screams didn't scare him. He knew he wanted us," Burden said Monday. "He wasn't going to get my girls."

Burden's 5-year-old daughter had just finished up her T-ball game, and the two, along with 2-year-old Kasey, were making a quick pit stop at the restroom before heading home.

That's when, she says, she spotted the fox, which looked like it had been hit by a car and was missing half of its head.

It headed straight for Burden and her girls.

"It just happened so fast. It was a terrifying experience," she said. "I pushed Kailey behind me, and I tripped over her and fell."

She fell on top of Kailey, breaking her daughter's collar bone.

Despite the screaming, the fox didn't retreat.

"Trying to get on my knees, I ended up grabbing the fox by the foot and threw him," Burden said. "By then, all the parents were running to help us."

Burden says her husband ran over and kicked the fox. Another parent grabbed a baseball bat and killed the animal.

"We just praise God we weren't bitten, because he did check out positive," she said.

Burden says the animal did scratch her. Kasey was unharmed, and Kailey's now wearing a sling to help her collar bone heal.

As a precaution, the three are undergoing treatment for rabies exposure.

So far, they have finished two rounds of rabies vaccine and have two more to go.


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  • squirt80 May 9, 2012

    WAY TO GO MOM!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ashen-Shugar May 8, 2012

    "I thought 2 weeks was the incubation period i.e. when the animals start showing signs of rabies."

    There is no set timeline for an incubation period. It can go for months or longer. I meant that once an animal shows signs it has a 2 week time period before it dies. This is the usual, but as mentioned in this article this case was not.

    Bottom line, if an animal with only half a head is running at you the best course of action is anything other then try to pet it.

    And yes, the treatments are not fun. A butload (literally) of shots on the date of exposure, then one follow up shot in the arm on the 3rd, 7th, 14th, and 28th days after.
    They are usually only given in the emergency room since they are so expensive. Which means you have to go to the emergency room each time to get one incurring more charges. At least that is the way Raleigh Community does it.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 May 8, 2012

    Hate that they all had to have the treatments. But as their mother she was very protective and I hope they all will be OK.

  • dabunn May 8, 2012

    I thought 2 weeks was the incubation period i.e. when the animals start showing signs of rabies. Anyway I've found that the easiest way to take care of it is to take care of it yourself. I've been in the "call these folks... no call these folks" before and nothing ever gets done.

  • babsd24 May 8, 2012

    The fox tested positive people! READ

  • kathy8791 May 8, 2012

    I appreciate the feedback and suggestions I'm getting. I'm not that concerned for my household, as there are no small children here and our cats are indoor cats, but other families have small children walking from the bus stop, riding their bikes and playing, and some have outdoor pets.

  • airbornemonty May 8, 2012

    Is everyone sure that the mother wasn't making a hasty retreat to the rear and stumbled over her daughter breaking her collar bone or is she the heroine everyone claims that she is?

    The reason that I question the story is because on Channel 33 today a man with a knife came toward a woman with her three or four year old daughter and the woman took off running and left her young daughter behind.

    Are these two women the heroines of the day or is there enough evidence to consider?

  • FromClayton May 8, 2012

    kathy, i know very little about what i am talking about, but i think running around in circles is not rabid but something called distemper. Still bad and other animals can get it, but not rabid. Still get it removed, but maybe if you throw out the words distemper it will help. good luck!

  • Ashen-Shugar May 8, 2012

    Animals will go in circles, at least my foxes do. Just because you see an animal it does not mean it is rabid. Think of the amount of animals vs the amount of rabid animals you hear about. Very few. Rabies has a two week timer, which means from the time contracted the animal has 2 weeks to live. If they have been there longer then they are not rabid. I would not worry about it and let them go about their business.

  • kathy8791 May 8, 2012

    @protectanimals, I'm unable to find a local, working phone number for the Humane Society in Raleigh.