Dog has to be euthanized after contact with rabid fox

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Staff Report
KANNAPOLIS ó A fox found dead in a dog house on Crooked Oak Lane here has tested positive as the fifth rabies case in Rowan County this year.
Richard Witherspoon of 8525 Crooked Oak Lane found the dead fox in the house belonging to his shepherd-malamute mix on Monday, according to a report filed by Officer Luanne Sharp of Rowan County Animal Control. Witherspoon told Animal Control the fox appeared to have been killed by his dog, a male named “Wuf Wuf.”
The dog was not current on his rabies vaccination and was held in quarantine at the Animal Shelter pending rabies test results. Once the results came back positive, Witherspoon opted to have the dog euthanized.
State law mandates that pets not current on vaccinations be euthanized or quarantined for six months at a veterinary clinic after being exposed to rabies. The quarantine can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000.
Animal Control officers notified residents in the Crooked Oak Lane area of the rabies case so they can make sure their pets’ rabies vaccination are up to date.
This was the second rabies case this year involving a skunk. Of the other three cases, two were raccoons and one a fox.
Last year, there were 16 cases of rabies 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.