Warren County Animal Control has reported that a skunk picked up from  Limertown Road south of Warrenton on April 29 has tested positive for rabies at the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health.

Animal Control Director Dani Bowen said that this was third case of rabies in April and the second on Limertown Road. The other occurred on April 1 on Mac Powell Road in the Norlina area. In all of these cases, dogs that came into contact with the rabid animals had to be euthanized due to not being current on their rabies vaccinations.

Bowen said that dogs and cats not current on their rabies vaccination that come into contact with a rabid animal have only two options: quarantining of the pet for a period of six months at the owner’s expense or euthanizing the pet.

She observed that most cases of wild animals testing positive for rabies in North Carolina involve raccoons, followed by skunks and foxes. The cat continues to surpass other domestic animals, such as the dog and livestock, in testing positive for rabies.

Bowen cautioned that the feeding and keeping of stray and unvaccinated cats and dogs is discouraged because it presents a health risk to local communities and the animals themselves. Disposal of food scraps in yards and wooded areas attracts animals in general and is unsanitary. Bowen recommends that local residents dispose of food scraps by composting or placing them in covered rubbish containers to avoid attracting animals. She added that rabies is a fatal disease that has no cure for animals or humans. North Carolina law requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets 4 months of age and older be kept current on their rabies vaccinations. 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 one-year rabies vaccinations Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. for $5 each at the Animal Ark. Animal Control also offers a field call service to pet owners with 10 or more dogs or cats. Owners may make an appointment to have an Animal Control rabies vaccinator provide vaccinations to animals in kennels, catteries or residences.  

Unwanted or stray dogs and cats can be reported to Animal Control or brought to the Animal Ark. 

For more information about rabies vaccinations or reporting a stray animal, contact Warren County Animal Control at 252-257-6137, or visit Warren County Animal Ark at 142 Rafters Lane, off Hwy. 58/43 just east of Warrenton.