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Labrador retriever quarantined after encounter with rabid raccoon

By Kathy Chaffin
kchaffin@salisburypost.com
LANDIS ó A female Labrador retriever not current on its rabies vaccination is being quarantined at Lazy 5 Veterinary Services for six months after fighting with a rabid raccoon.Jessie Morgan, of 305 N. Correll St., discovered the raccoon last Friday when he went outside to see why his two dogs were fighting, according to Rowan County Animal Control Officer Tommy Staton. When Morgan got outside, Staton said, his dogs ran toward him and the raccoon ran in the open basement door.
Morgan shut the door and called Animal Control. When Staton arrived, the raccoon was hiding behind some boxes, he said, “so I was able to pin him in and use my catch pole to get him out.”
Staton had already received training on the .22-caliber rifles issued to Animal Control officers to kill rabid and wild animals, but said they only use them if they can’t catch the animal with a catch pole and take it back to the shelter to be euthanized. “The firearm is just a last resort,” he said.
In this case, Staton said using the rifle was also inappropriate because the rabid animal was inside a house.
When the rabies test came back positive, he said, Morgan was informed that state law required the Lab, a young dog named Abby, to either be quarantined for six months at a veterinary clinic, which can cost between $2,000 and $5,000, or euthanized. His other dog, an Australian shepherd mix, was current on its rabies vaccination.
This was the sixth rabies case reported in Rowan County this year. Anyone who suspects an animal of having rabies is advised to stay away from it and call Rowan County Animal Control immediately at 704-633-0482.

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