232012Mar

Health Department Confirms Fourth Rabies Case for 2012

catdog

Raccoon fights with unvaccinated dogs, twenty dogs euthanized


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 23, 2012


BURLINGTON – The North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health in Raleigh has confirmed Alamance County’s fourth rabies case for the year.  This case also marks the second confirmed case this month.

On March 19, three dogs and a raccoon were involved in a fight at residence on Stone Brook Road, off Stone Street Extension, in Mebane.  The owner was able to shoot and kill the raccoon during the confrontation.

Upon further investigation, the three dogs were found not to be current on their rabies vaccinations.  Two of the dogs, along with eighteen puppies were euthanized.  The third dog exposed is being quarantined for six months at a veterinarian facility.

As an alternative to euthanization, state law allows for an animal to be quarantined at a facility approved by the local health director for a period up to six months.  The dog’s owner will be responsible for all costs during the quarantine period.

Residents in this area that have outside pets should closely examine them for wounds that they may have potentially received from this raccoon and notify animal control or the Health Department’s Environmental Health office.

“This event is yet another example of why it is very important that dogs and cats are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations,” said Carl Carroll, Alamance County Health Department’s Environmental Health Director.   “Not only did 20 dogs lose their lives, but the cost incurred to quarantine a dog for six months could have provided rabies vaccinations for hundreds of dogs.”

The Environmental Health division is asking everyone that has a dog or cat to check their animal’s rabies vaccination status today.  If a pet is not up-to-date on its rabies vaccinations, do not delay in getting your pet caught up.

If bitten by any animal: • Wash the wound with soap and running water for ten (10) minutes and seek medical attention immediately. • Write down the location of the animal and a description of the animal to provide to animal control.  If the animal is someone’s pet, also get the owner’s name and address.  Give this information to animal control or the health department. • Do not try to catch any wild animal

Several rabies vaccination clinics will take place in Alamance County during the month of April.  As a part of Public Health Month, the Alamance County Health Department will hold a rabies vaccination clinic on Saturday, April 21, 2012, from 9:00 A.M. until 1:00 P.M., at the Environmental Health office located at 219 North Graham-Hopedale Road in Burlington.  The cost is $5.00 per animal.

For more information or questions about rabies control, vaccinations requirements, or upcoming clinics, contact the Health Department’s Environmental Health office at (336) 570-6367.