Second rabies case for 2014 reported in Cumberland County

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March 25, 2014 9:35:07 AM PDT
A raccoon found in Cumberland County last week has tested positive for rabies, according to the State Public Health Lab in Raleigh.

The raccoon was picked up on Friday on Troy Drive, off of Cedar Creek Road in east Fayetteville after a resident reported seeing several stray dogs fighting with the animal late Thursday night.

The raccoon was later found dead Friday morning.

Animal Control Officers notified residents in the area about the rabies case Tuesday and cautioned that the stray dogs are still on the loose.

It is the second case of rabies in the county for 2014. Earlier this month, a rabid raccoon was reported in northern Cumberland County.

The first sign of rabies in animals is a change in behavior. Animals may become aggressive, attacking for no reason, or they may become very quiet. Wild animals can lose their fear of people and act tame. Rabid animals may walk in a circle, drag a leg, or fall over. Some cannot swallow so they are not able to eat or drink and often drool. Animals usually die within a week after first becoming ill.

Authorities are urging all pet owners to check the vaccination status of their pets. If pets are not vaccinated or are due for a booster shot, they should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.

State law requires pet owners to have all dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies. Owners face a fine of $100 for each unvaccinated dog or cat.

Cumberland County will hold rabies vaccination clinics in April on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m. The cost is $10 per animal.

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