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3 dogs not current on rabies shots euthanized after contact with rabid raccoon in East Spencer

By Kathy Chaffin
kchaffin@salisburypost.com
EAST SPENCER ó A raccoon found in a doghouse on West Torbush Drive has tested positive as the eighth case of rabies in Rowan County this year.
J.P. Hill of 109 W. Torbush Drive called Rowan County Animal Control Monday to retrieve the raccoon from the doghouse. Animal Control Officer Tommy Staton said Hill discovered the raccoon when he heard his three dogs barking and went out to see what was wrong.
None of the three ó a male chow mix, male shepherd mix and female cocker spaniel mix ó were current on their rabies vaccinations, so Staton took them to the Rowan County Animal Shelter, where they were held under quarantine pending the raccoon test results.
When the test came back positive, he said Hill opted to have the dogs euthanized. State law requires that pets not current on their rabies shots be euthanized or quarantined for six months at a veterinary clinic after contact with rabid animals. The six-month quarantine can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 per dog depending on the clinic.
This was the fourth rabies case this year involving a raccoon. Of the other four, two were skunks, one was a fox and the most recent one, a bat.
Last year, there were 16 rabies cases in Rowan County. Anyone who suspects an animal has rabies is advised to stay away from it and call Animal Control immediately at 704-216-7768.

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