Health Department
 

Rabies Prevention and Control

Rabies Information

North Carolina rabies law require that all owned dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated again rabies by four months of age.  One shot is not enough; rabies vaccinations must be kept current.  Talk to your veterinarian about when your pet needs it rabies booster shots.

What is Rabies?

    Rabies is a deadly virus caused by a virus.  The virus is found in the saliva of a rabid animal and can be transmitted by a bite, or possibly by saliva
    
contamination of an open cut or the eyes.

What animals can get rabies?

    In NC, rabies is found commonly in raccoons, skunks, red and grey foxes, coyotes, wolves, groundhogs and beavers.  Bats can also transmit rabies. 

    Any mammal can become infected with rabies.  The virus can infect domestic pets, agricultural animals such as cows and horses, and people when they
    are exposed to rabid wildlife.

How Can I Tell if A Wild Animal Has Rabies?

    Rabid animals may not always exhibit symptoms. Some rabid animals may act mad or strange while others may act timid or shy.  A wild animal with
    
rabies may move slowly or act tame.  Since a wild animal is not tame and usually run away from people, maintain your distance and do not approach
    them.  Also, avoid petting stray cats or dogs. 

    The only way to know for sure if an animal or a person has rabies is through laboratory tests.

    If you see an animal that is acting strange, call Randolph County Animal Control at 336-318-8235 for assistance.

What You Can Do To Protect Your Pets From Rabies:

  • Vaccinate your pets against rabies and keep the vaccinations current.
  • Keep pets inside.  Supervise pets outside, and keep dogs on a leash.
  • Do not feed pets outside. Pet food and mulch attract wildlife.
  • Do not feed wildlife, feral cats or feral dogs.
  • Secure garbage cans with wildlife-proof lids.

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, follow these guidelines:

  • Wash wounds and contact areas thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Contact your doctor and/or seek medical care.
  • Call Randolph County Animal Control at 336-318-8235.  North Carolina law requires animal bites to be reported by the person bitten, the owner of the biting animal, and the doctor who first treats the victim.
  • If there no risk of further, isolate the anima until Animal Control arrives to investigate.

I Think My Pet May Have Been Bitten By A Wild Animal.  What Do I Need to Do?

  • Put on gloves before touching your pet.  Do not touch the wild animal.
  • Keep your pet away from other animals and people.
  • Call your veterinarian.  Your pet may need a rabies booster shot immediately.
  • Call Randolph County Animal Control at 336-318-8235 to investigate and capture and/or secure the wild animal (if possible) for testing.

There is a Bat In My House.  What Do I Need to Do?

    Isolate the bat to one room and close the door.  The bat needs to be tested for rabies. Call animal control at 336-318-8235 to capture the bat for testing. 

Links:

Rabies Control & Prevention in NC

CDC's Rabies Information

CDC's Rabies Information for Kids