A North Carolina woman was enjoying time on her porch — until she was face-to-face with a growling fox.
“All I saw was teeth coming at me,” Martha Dotson of Fayetteville told ABC11, The News & Observer’s media partner. “It was snarling.”
The rabid critter on Monday made its way past the porch’s screen door, so Dotson, 65, grabbed the animal, thinking it was one of her cats, she told WRAL. But when she discovered it was a fox, she “dropped it,” the station reports.
The fox scratched Dotson, went inside the house and bit her adult son, Robert, WRAL reports.
“A second son was able to be moved to safety before being bitten, officials said,” according to WNCN.
The family got the fox out of their home once — but then it came back inside, WRAL reports.
Officials from Cumberland County Animal Control seized the fox, according to ABC11. The animal, which did have rabies, died en route to the animal shelter, according to the station.
After the attack, Dotson and her son received shots to prevent them from getting rabies, and officials encouraged people to vaccinate their pets against the disease, WRAL and WNCN report.
“Survival is rare” in humans who start showing signs of the rabies virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Humans who get the disease have flu-like symptoms followed by odd behavior, hallucinations and difficulty sleeping, according to the CDC.