Raccoon found on N.C. 801 tests positive for rabies; two dogs exposed
By Kathy Chaffin
MOUNT ULLA — A dead raccoon found on N.C. 801 here Monday has tested positive as Rowan County’s second case of rabies this year.
Dale Lambe of 11550 N.C. 801 called Rowan County Animal Control after his two dogs dragged the raccoon into his yard, according to Animal Control Officer Jim Rich. When Rich arrived at the residence, he examined the animal and found it to be recently deceased, according to the report he filed with Animal Control.
One of the dogs, a female boxer mix named Ruby, was not current on her rabies vaccination and was quarantined at the Rowan Animal Shelter pending test results. Once the tests came back positive, Ruby was euthanized at Lambe’s request.
When pets not current on their vaccinations are exposed to rabies, state law requires that they either be euthanized or quarantined at a veterinary clinic for six months. The quarantine can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000.
Rich said he notified 15 of Lambe’s neighbors of the rabies case, leaving notices for those not at home encouraging them to make sure their pets are current on their vaccinations. He also posted notices of the rabies case at Steele Feed & Seed and the Mount Ulla post office.
A raccoon in Woodleaf tested positive last week as the county’s first case of rabies this year. Rich said the two cases were not that close together.
The Woodleaf case was on Campbell Road almost at Potneck Road, he said, and the Mount Ulla case was on N.C. 801 across from Steele Feed and Seed.
Rich said raccoons have been the most common carrier of rabies in Rowan County, followed by skunks. While some rabid animals are very aggressive, some stagger around and appear disoriented. They also sometimes go around people or pets, which is not normal behavior for wildlife.
That’s why it’s important for parents to teach their children to stay away from wild animals, he said.
Anyone who suspects an animal of having rabies is advised to stay away from it and call Animal Control immediately at 704-633-0482.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249 or firstname.lastname@example.org.