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Yet another case of rabies in Pike

By Rachel McDaniel A fourth case of rabies in Pike in just six weeks was confirmed April 21 after a fox attacked and bit a man in the Zebulon city limits Sunday, April 19. The same fox is believed to have attacked a dog on Hall Street in Zebulon the same morning. ’This is the first case of rabies in a long time that we’ve had in Zebulon but people need to be aware of their surroundings,’ said Zebulon PD Sgt. Keith Rader. ‘If anyone happens to see a wild or domestic animal that is behaving unusually they need to notify law enforcement so we can come and investigate. Residents should also make sure their pets have been vaccinated for rabies.’ According to Sgt. Rader, early Sunday morning, an officer responded to a call about a fox attacking a dog on a screened-in porch at a residence on Hall Street. The officer pepper-sprayed the fox and it bolted off the porch. The dog that was attacked had received a rabies vaccination and is being monitored. If it shows any signs of rabies, it will have to be put down. ’At approximately 8 a.m. Sunday morning, I received a call about an aggressive fox at an address on Industrial Drive,’ said Sgt. Rader. ‘A man had been walking his dog near his house when a fox attacked him. He kicked the fox away a couple of times and picked up his dog so it wouldn’t get bit. His wife brought him a shot gun and he shot the fox.’ Sgt. Rader said the man did end up receiving a scratch during the tussle and may have to receive the post-exposure series of rabies shots. Sgt. Rader took the fox to the health department and it was tested for rabies and was confirmed as having been rabid Tuesday, April 21. ’Industrial Drive and Hall Street are right near each other,’ said Rader. ‘I firmly believe it was indeed the same animal at both residences because pepper spray has a rather unusual odor to it.’ Three other cases of rabies have been confirmed in Pike County in the past six weeks, all involving rabid raccoons. A case was confirmed April 1 involving a raccoon from the Pedenville area of Concord that was seen acting strangely. The other two cases – one in Concord and the other in northern Pike near the Lamar County line – involved raccoons attacking dogs. To report possible rabies cases, citizens may call environmental health manager Ben Trotter at 770-567-8972 or animal control officer David Allen at 770-567-2007. If a case is reported on the weekend, citizens may go to pikecoga.com, click on the Departments and Authorities and then Animal Control tabs to find a cell phone number to call. The Georgia House and Senate recently passed House Bill 160 which will repeal a provision prohibiting the trapping of raccoons. The bill was approved by the Georgia Senate March 25, lifting a 35-year ban on trapping raccoons and would allow for trappers to use steel traps to catch them. The bill was sent to the governor April 6 to be signed into law.

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