At least 3 people, dog exposed to fox with rabies in Zebulon

aspecht@newsobserver.comMay 4, 2012 

— A fox carrying rabies was killed in Zebulon on Thursday after acting strangely during a direct encounter with several people and a dog.

Animal Control responded at Wakelon Park on Pippin Road and the fox was taken to the state lab in Raleigh for testing.

Three people who were exposed have begun a series of treatments for rabies exposure. The process will require four treatments over the next 14 days.

The dog that encountered the fox was vaccinated for rabies and required a booster vaccine. State law requires potentially rabid pets to be destroyed unless owners agree to support a six-month quarantine.

"We don't want to alarm residents in Zebulon, but they should be aware of these cases, and of the potential for exposure to themselves, family members and their pets," said Sue Lynn Ledford, community health director for Wake County. “Rabies vaccination is critical to help to prevent the spread of disease, and rabies vaccination is required by law. This is a great opportunity to remind everyone of the importance of rabies vaccinations for their pets.”

The last reported case of rabies in Wake County was in November 2011 in Raleigh, according to Wake County Animal Control.

“Animal Control officers are concerned about possible exposure of unvaccinated animals, particularly pets, in the Zebulon area,” said Ledford. “We have contacted more than 500 homes near the park, and are encouraging people to bring their pets to the rabies vaccination clinic that we have scheduled for tomorrow morning in Zebulon.”

A rabies vaccination and microchip clinic will be held at the Wake County Eastern Regional Center – 1002 Dogwood Drive, Zebulon – from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on on Saturday, May 5.

The event is a first-come, first-served event for dogs, cats and ferrets, according to the shelter. Rabies vaccines will be available for $5 and microchips will be available for $10. Proof of current and prior rabies vaccination is required. Pets are required to be restrained on a leash or in a carrier. Details on other upcoming rabies and microchip clinics can be found on the Wake County Animal Center website.

Anyone who sees an animal acting in an unusual manner is urged to call Wake County Animal Control at 919-212-7387 (PETS).

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