Rowan's first rabies case in 2007 reported

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Kathy Chaffin

Salisbury Post

WOODLEAF — A raccoon found near a dog on Campbell Road here has tested positive as Rowan County’s first rabies case this year.

David Whitley of 1565 Campbell Road called Rowan County Animal Control on Jan. 23 when he saw the raccoon. Whitley was unsure if his dog, a male black Lab mix named Thunder, and the raccoon actually made contact, said Animal Control Officer Eric Williams in his report, but had concerns because Thunder was not current on his rabies vaccination.

Thunder was held in quarantine at the Rowan County Animal Shelter pending notification of test results. Once the tests came back positive, the dog was euthanized at the owner’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. This can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000.

Animal Control officers notified residents in the Campbell Road area of the rabies cases and urged them to make sure their pets’ vaccinations are current.

Anyone who suspects an animal of having rabies is advised to stay away from it and call Animal Control immediately at 704-633-0482.

Animal Control Officer Tommy Staton said rabid animals can exhibit different behaviors. They may act like they’re drunk and stagger around disoriented, she said, or they can be very aggressive.

A total of 14 rabies cases were reported in Rowan County last year. This is up from 13 cases in 2005.

Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249 or