16th rabies case reported in Rockwell
By Shavonne Potts
ROCKWELL ó Tara Stroud awoke at 3 a.m. to her dog and the other neighborhood dogs barking. She asked her boyfriend, Tommy Caudill Jr. to check out the noise.
Caudill discovered Elvis, their 1-year-old puggle, a pug and beagle mix, was being chased by a skunk. He grabbed his shotgun, but missed. Caudill hit the skunk with the butt of the gun, killing it.
“We were not sure if the dog was bitten. We never saw puncture wounds or blood,” Stroud said.
Just in case, the couple called Rowan County Animal Control.
The incident occurred Sept. 18 at the couple’s Rothrock Road home. The skunk was sent off for testing and Elvis had to be quarantined.
Stroud, who’d gotten the puppy through a friend, did not have his papers. Since she could not immediately produce his vaccination records, Elvis had to be placed in isolation.
“His previous owner had his records. I was worried they had expired,” Stroud said of his shots.
She also concerned for her daughter, Payton Caudill, 3.
“I was really upset. She loves that dog so much. All I could think that she was not going to have her puppy,” she said.
When Stroud produced the papers, Elvis was released to the family. He was given a rabies vaccination rebooster, animal control said.
“They took him Friday and he was back Monday,” she said.
The skunk tested positive for rabies.
Stroud said Elvis used to be an indoor and outdoor dog.
“He likes to be outside in the warmer weather,” she said.
Elvis has spent his last night outside. He no longer stays outdoors.
The family had to give him several baths to rid him of the skunk smell.
Stroud came up with Elvis as a name for the dog not because she’s a particularly huge Elvis Presley fan, but because the dog’s upper lip gets caught in his lower lip and curls like the real Elvis.
Stroud’s advice to other pet owners: make sure animals have their shots.
She said the clinics are low cost and encouraged everyone to, “make sure you take your animals.”