The Orange County Animal Services Department received its eighth positive rabies result of the year, from the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health, it announced on Wednesday afternoon.
The county recorded 12 positive cases last year.
The case originated Tuesday, when a Chapel Hill resident's dog attacked a raccoon. The resident had spotted the raccoon moving slowly under her porch earlier that morning, but it retreated into the woods after noticing her. After the attack, the resident called Orange County Animal Control to remove the raccoon for testing.
"Prevention is the best measure for effective rabies control," Bob Marotto, director of Animal Services, said in a statement. "Ensuring cats, dogs and ferrets are current on their rabies vaccinations is one of the most important responsibilities of a pet owner, since it can quite literally be the difference between life and death."
dog in this case was currently vaccinated against rabies and will receive a
booster shot, authorities said.
According to the state's rabies law, if there is "a reasonable suspicion of exposure," a dog or cat with a current vaccination must receive a booster shot within 120 hours (5 days). By contrast, an unvaccinated animal must either be destroyed or quarantined for a period of six months.
Rabies is rooted in reservoir species, such as raccoons and bats. If there is any possibility of exposure, citizens should immediately call Animal Control or 911.
Meanwhile, Orange County's Low-Cost ($10) Rabies Vaccination Clinics are underway and the next clinic will take place on Thursday from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Animal Services Center in Chapel Hill.
The cost for rabies vaccinations is $10. Microchips will also be offered at this clinic for $25. For future clinic dates, please visit www. orangecountync.gov/animalservices
For more information, please call Orange County Animal Services at 919.942.7387.