Local News

Rabid raccoon found in Holly Springs garage

Posted June 30, 2008 7:39 p.m. EDT

— Authorities say the town is handling its sixth case of confirmed or suspected rabies in the past six weeks.

A rabid raccoon was found in the garage of a home in the Valleyfield subdivision on Sunday.

The homeowner, who touched the raccoon, is consulting Wake County Public Heath Services about treatment.

The string of confirmed or suspected rabies in wild animals began on May 20. In the 12 prior months, Holly Springs police had handled one confirmed rabies case.

Lt. Anthony Revels said the destruction of wildlife habitat is likely behind the increase in cases.

Low-cost rabies shots have been offered by the Holly Springs Animal Control. Pet owners can get the shots for $5 an animal 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, July 19, at Town Hall.

Police detailed the other six cases associated with rabies:

Recent cases in Holly Springs include:

  • Rabies is suspected in raccoon found in mid-June in the Holly Glen subdivision. The animal did not meet state criteria for testing, since no known exposure to people or pets occurred.
  • Testing confirmed the presence of rabies in a dead bat June 8 in the garage of home in Sunset Ridge. No family members or pets were believed to have been exposed.
  • A rabid fox attacked a pet Chihuahua outside a home at 4905 Optimist Farm Road on May 24. The homeowner, who was not attack, shot and killed the fox, and the Chihuahua had to be put down.
  • Authorities suspect rabies in the case of a raccoon also found May 24 in a trap that Animal Control officers had set out in Sunset Lake Village. No known exposure to people or pets occurred, so the raccoon was not tested.
  • A rabid fox scratched a woman May 20 behind a home in Sunset Lake Village. The woman has undergone rabies prevention treatment.

Police urged residents to call 919-557-9111 if they see wildlife behaving abnormally, especially near homes. Pet owners should make sure their animals are vaccinated against rabies.

Animals impaired by rabies may act unpredictably or aggressively and approach people and pets, rather than running away.

Residents should not set out food for wildlife, but should secure garbage can lids and remove attractions such as pet food bowls to help keep wildlife away.

Get more information on rabies from the state Department of Health and Human Services.