Warren County, NC- A skunk that was taken on October 12, 2020 from Warren Plains Road in Warren County has tested positive for rabies at the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health. The skunk was killed by the citizen’s dog. The dog’s rabies vaccination had expired, and the dog is currently under observation. 

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 animal for a period up to 6 months at the owner’s expense; the second option is euthanizing the pet.

The top three wild animals testing positive for rabies in North Carolina continue to be the raccoon (number one), the skunk, and the 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 our communities and the animals themselves; this practice should be halted and is discouraged. The disposal of food scraps in yards and wooded areas attracts animals and is unsanitary. Residents are encouraged to dispose of food scraps by composting or placing scraps in covered rubbish containers to avoid attracting animals. 

North Carolina law requires that all dogs, cats, and ferrets that are four months of age and older should 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 one-year rabies vaccinations. Vaccinations are available Monday through Friday from 2 pm to 4 pm for $5 each at the Animal Ark. Appointments can be made by calling the shelter at 252-257-6137.