Rabid fox attacks child in Hope Mills

HOPE MILLS, NC (WTVD) -- A fox that attacked a two-year-old Hope Mills boy has tested positive for rabies.

It happened Sunday night on Spinnaker Drive, off Legion Road.

Jenna Johnson, the boy's mother, told ABC11 Tuesday that the family was out in the yard. She and her husband were in the bed of their pickup truck - putting stickers on the windows - and their toddler Brent was standing nearby in the driveway. As the fox approached, it looked like a small cat trotting up the sidewalk. Johnson said the family thought it was cute.

"We were thinking, 'He's a little curious, little baby animal. Just stunned and excited'...Then it attacked."

As the fox bit her son, Johnson jumped from the pickup truck bed into the driveway.

"You have those mommy instincts," said Johnson. "I didn't really feel the pain of jumping. All I know is 'Son. Must Save.'"

Johnson grabbed her son and the fox, and she was bitten on the hand.

Then, their dog, a Great Dane/Mastiff mix, picked up the fox in its mouth and was also attacked.

That's when Johnson's husband killed the fox with a broomstick and contacted Animal Control.

"It happened so quickly, less than a minute," said Johnson. "He was in the truck with us, got down, grabbed [the] broom, came back, and killed. That how fast it took."

"[He] pretty much broke its neck and back and it died instantly."

The family dog Bruce was up to date on his rabies vaccination, but was given a booster shot at Animal Control. The family was advised to seek medical treatment.

Johnson said they started getting the first round of painful rabies shots Tuesday morning, but they're thankful Brent isn't traumatized by the experience.

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