Warren County

A raccoon taken on January 6, 2021 from the 600 block of the Embro Odell Road, Littleton in Warren County has tested positive for rabies at the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health.

The raccoon was acting strangely and subsequently euthanized. Fortunately, the owner was able to prevent their dogs from contact with the raccoon and were up to date on rabies vaccinations. A rabies booster has been recommended as a safety precaution.

Dogs and cats not current on their rabies vaccination that come into contact with a rabid animal have very few options. One option is quarantining the pet for a period up to 6 months at the owner’s expense; the second is euthanizing the pet.

The raccoon continues to be the majority of cases of animals testing positive for rabies in North Carolina, followed by the skunk and fox. The cat continues to surpass other domestic animals, such as the dog and livestock, in testing positive for rabies. The feeding and keeping of stray and other unvaccinated cats presents a health risk to communities and the animals themselves; this practice should be halted and discouraged. The disposal of food scraps in yards and wooded areas attracts animals in general and is unsanitary. Dispose of food scraps by composting or placing in covered rubbish containers to avoid attracting animals.

North Carolina law requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets 4 months of age and older be kept current on their rabies vaccination. Failure to vaccinate pets is a violation of state law and local ordinance and owners can face fines and criminal charges. The Warren County Animal Control Department offers 1-year rabies vaccinations Monday through Friday from 2 pm to 4 pm for $5 each at the Animal Ark.

Rabies is a fatal disease that has no cure for animals or humans. Feeding, keeping or harboring of stray cats and dogs increases the risk of rabies being transmitted from stray animals to humans and is highly discouraged by Animal Control. Individuals who keep, feed or harbor unvaccinated animals place the animals, themselves and their community at risk of being exposed to this fatal disease.

Unwanted or stray dogs and cats can be reported to Animal Control or brought to the Animal Ark. There is no fee for these services; however, Animal Control has limited resources and responds on a priority basis.

For more information contact Warren County Animal Control at 252-257-6137 or visit the Warren County Animal Ark located at 142 Rafters Lane, off of Hwy 58/43 just east of the Town of Warrenton.