Four rabies cases have been confirmed in raccoons so far this year, which Bob Marotto, Director of Orange County Animal Services, says is above the number of cases recorded at this point in recent years.
In 2012 and 2013, twelve cases of rabies were confirmed. Marotto adds that those figures were at the lower end of the range of yearly cases the county has recorded in the past two decades.
In 2005-2007, there were more than 20 confirmed cases per year.
“Twelve is actually low by historical standards. If you go back into the 1990s when raccoon rabies first erupted in our region, in our state and in our county, I believe that there were upwards of 90 confirmed cases each year,” Marotto says.
The fourth rabies case in 2014 was reported around February 27 when a Chapel Hill resident spotted his dog near a raccoon that appeared to be almost dead. The resident removed his dog from the area and called Animal Control to remove the rabid raccoon for testing.
Marotto explains that dog was not believed to have had direct contact with the raccoon, but the possibility of exposure before the owner’s arrival couldn’t be ruled out.
Unfortunately, the dog was not currently vaccinated against rabies. North Carolina law requires that it must be either destroyed or quarantined for a period of six months, which is very costly for the pet owner.
“It is not often that we have a case where there’s been an exposure of a dog or cat to rabies and the dog or cat is not vaccinated, but when that happens, the choices that face the owner are dreadful choices.”
Marotto reminds residents to have their pets vaccinated. Dogs, cats, and ferrets older than four months are legally required to be up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations.
“It is prevention and reporting—I think that is really true. The prevention is that we always want to insure that our animals are vaccinated against rabies.”
If you or your pet encounters an animal believed to be rabid, you should report it to Animal Services immediately by calling 919.942.7387.
It is also advised that pets not be allowed to roam free where they can be exposed to wildlife.
The Animal Services Department holds periodic low-cost vaccination clinics throughout the year. Their next one will be held on Thursday, March 20, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Farmer’s Market in Hillsborough. The cost for rabies vaccinations is $10, and only cash will be accepted at this clinic.
Click here for a complete list of 2014 clinic dates.
ORANGE COUNTY - The Orange County Animal Services Department reported two cases of rabies Friday, bringing the total to 11 cases this year.
A Rougemont resident discovered a dead raccoon lying on her porch beside her dog Wednesday. The dog’s owner placed the rabid raccoon in a plastic bag and then called Animal Control to have it tested for rabies, according to Orange County Animal Services.
On Thursday, a Hillsborough resident discovered a dead skunk, found later to be rabid, in her dogs’ outdoor kennel.
The dogs were all up-to-date on rabies vaccination and will receive booster shots pursuant to North Carolina statute.
The County recorded 12 positive rabies cases in 2012.
Rabies is rooted in reservoir species, such as raccoons and bats. If there is any possibility of exposure, you should immediately call Orange County Animal Services at 919.942.7387, or 911.
2013 RABIES VACCINATION CLINIC SCHEDULE
The last 2013 Low-Cost ($10) Rabies Vaccination Clinic will take place on Thursday, November 14, from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Animal Services Center in Chapel Hill. This is also a microchip clinic.
The cost for rabies vaccinations is $10 and for microchips is $25. Clinic dates for 2014 will be posted later in the year and available at www. orangecountync.gov/animalservices or by calling Orange County Animal Services at 919.942.7387.
HILLSBOROUGH- A laundry room full of bats lead to Orange County’s ninth confirmed rabies case this year. Officials from Orange County Animal Services say a Hillsborough homeowner reported that a house cat was bitten by a bat on Tuesday.
The owners then found half a dozen bats in the laundry room, which they sealed off from the rest of the house. Animal Services officers removed five of the bats; a sixth bat escaped outside. Tests confirmed the bat killed by the cat was infected with rabies.
The cat was up-to-date on its vaccinations and the family is being evaluated for possible exposure.
Bats and raccoons are the primary source of rabies in North Carolina, but bats pose a greater risk to humans because of their small, hard-to-detect bite marks.
Animal Services Director Bob Marrotto urges residents to contact authorities if a bat is found to have been in a home overnight, or if family pet has contact with a bat.
You can learn more about rabies in Orange County here.http://chapelboro.com/news/health/hillsborough-homeowner-reports-a-room-full-of-rabid-bats/
CHAPEL HILL – A dog in Chapel Hill tested positive for rabies, making it the eighth rabies case in Orange County this year.
The dog in question already had a rabies vaccine and received a booster shot shortly after the attack, pursuant to North Carolina’s rabies law that animals suspected of exposure must receive a booster within five days of potential exposure.
Orange County Animal Control reiterates the importance of giving all pets rabies vaccinations. Last year, Orange County had 12 confirmed cases of rabies.
A new sushi bar and Asian fusion restaurant will soon be added to the new 140 West Franklin development in downtown Chapel Hill.
Spicy Nine is scheduled to open next year. The owner, Tony Zikitsreth, who also owns Sushi Thai Raleigh, Sushi Nine and Sushi Love, will manage the new store with his son.
Spicy Nine will join the already-open Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, Gigi’s Cupcakes which will open at the end of August, and Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom which is scheduled for early 2014.
Two UNC doctoral students won second place in the National Science Foundation’s Innovation in Graduate Education Challenge.
The competition invited graduate students across the nation to submit ideas with the potential to improve graduate education and professional development. UNC’s Clare Fieseler and Justin Ridge submitted their proposal, called Stories Project, to the Duke/UNC Scientists.
The project creates videos, photography, and storytelling affiliated with the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences and the Duke University Marine Laboratory, and it intends to bridge the gap between scientists and the public.
On July 17, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners approved a strategic direction for a conceptual land use plan.
The goal for the strategic growth plan is to position Chatham County for sustainable, balanced job growth.
New growth will be aimed away from environmentally-sensitive lands and toward existing towns and economic development areas.http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/eighth-rabies-case-new-restaurant-unc-students-win-chatham-county-approves-plan/
CHAPEL HILL – Orange County Animal Services is reporting another positive rabies test, the sixth in the county this year.
The most recent case originated on May 24, when a resident and her dog encountered an aggressive raccoon while walking on the Eno River Trail. The dog killed the raccoon; Animal Control removed the raccoon for testing and confirmed it was rabid this week.
Fortunately the dog was vaccinated for rabies, but it was injured in the attack.
This is the sixth confirmed rabies case in Orange County this year, about one per month. That’s on par with last year, when there were 12 confirmed cases in the county.
Orange County Animal Services is taking the opportunity to remind residents to have their pets vaccinated: dogs, cats, and ferrets older than four months are legally required to be up to date on their rabies vaccine. The Animal Services Department holds periodic low-cost vaccination clinics throughout the year; their next one is on Saturday, June 15, from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Animal Services Center on Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill.
For more information and future clinic dates, visit OrangeCountyNC.gov/animalservices.http://chapelboro.com/news/health/ocas-reports-countys-sixth-rabies-case-in-2013/
ORANGE COUNTY – Lab results of a dead two-month-old goat were returned positive for the fifth case in 2013 of rabies in Orange County, according to Animal Services.
The goat lived on a small family farm in northern Orange County and was being treated for various possible illnesses in March and April. The animal was even bottle-fed in the attempt to nurse it back to health.
Post-exposure prophylaxis has been administered to at least three people in the family through the Orange County Health Department. The remaining six goats on the farm have been placed under a six-month quarantine for observation. The family’s dog and cat did not have to receive any treatment as they were not exposed to the animal.
In 2012, 12 positive rabies cases were reported.http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/oc-reports-fifth-positive-rabies-case/
CHAPEL HILL - Orange County Animal Services announced Thursday that tests of a fox likely responsible for biting two people in southern Chapel Hill came back positive for rabies.
The fox was caught and killed when it was trying to attack a person’s car in the Dogwood Acres area of Chapel Hill on Wednesday.
While it can’t be certain, Animal Services is confident that this was the fox that bit two people, including one it had to scale part of a ladder to reach. No additional reports have been made since this fox was captured, but people are still advised to use caution until more time has passed.
Wild animals are naturally afraid of people and will likely run away. One with rabies or a similar disease will act friendly or aggressive. Anyone who witnesses a situation like that is urged to call 911 immediately. An Animal Control officer will then be dispatched.http://chapelboro.com/news/fox-suspected-of-biting-two-in-southern-chapel-hill-tested-positive-for-rabies/
CHAPEL HILL – A local painter will join a New York photographer in an arctic exhibit Wednesday evening at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park.
Nerys Levy and Ron Jautz have both visited the north and south arctic regions and through capturing the beauty in their artworks, are speaking to their passion and concern over global climate change.
The reception for the works included in the exhibit Polar Worlds: Images of the Arctic and Antarctic is free and open to the public. It will take place at the National Humanities Center Wednesday from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Town officials, staff, and State dignitaries will be in attendance for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the one-third-mile-long path that stretches from Wilson Park and intersects Estes Drive just south of the railroad tracks.
Thursday’s event is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and will last approximately one hour. Wilson Park is located on Williams Street near the intersection of Estes Drive and Greensboro Street.
Orange County Animal Services offers a low-cost rabies vaccination clinic Thursday evening.
By North Carolina law, dogs, cats, and ferrets older than four months must be vaccinated at all times and must wear their rabies vaccination tag. Thursday’s event gives local residents the chance to fulfill that requirement for just $10, and Animal Services is accepting cash only for this particular clinic. The vaccine lasts one year.
The Low-Cost Rabies Vaccination Clinic takes place Thursday from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Public Market House on Margaret Street in Hillsborough.
“A gentleman who was, if I’m not mistaken, trimming some bushes when the fox approached him and apparently scaled the ladder a little bit and bit him,” Marotto says.
He says that occurred sometime Tuesday afternoon.
Chapel Hill Police Sgt. Josh Mecimore says the second report was that of a fox bite Tuesday night in the area of Southern Village.
“Around (8:00 p.m.), a woman who lives in Southern Village went to UNC Hospitals,” Sgt. Mecimore says. “I don’t have any information on the victim in this situation’s condition, just that she went to UNC Hospitals for treatment referencing of a fox bite.”
Officials searched the area Tuesday night but came up empty. Marotto says they returned to the area Wednesday morning to resume the search. A fox was captured just before noon Wednesday and impounded after it was killed. Results from tests are expected later this week.
In response to the report of the fox, the Chapel Hill Police issued a few safety tips for any time a situation like this occurs. Sgt. Mecimore says this incident is a good reminder that this could occur at any time and the number one thing to remember is to keep yourself and others away from any suspicious animals.
“We would just ask that anyone who sees it calls 911 and don’t try to go near it,” Sgt. Mecimore says. “Do whatever you can to stay as far away from it as you can so that you don’t risk being bitten yourself.”
By North Carolina law, dogs, cats, and ferrets older than four months must be vaccinated at all times and must wear their rabies vaccination tag.
While there could be other affected animals in the area, or, while Animal Services is relatively sure that it is, the fox that was collected may not be the same one that attacked. Anyone who sees a suspicious animal is asked to call 911 or Orange County Animal Services.
Orange County Animal Services
(919) 942-PETS (7387)
Tips From the Chapel Hill Police Department