Rabies is a vaccine-preventable disease in humans, dogs, cats and ferrets, as well as some domestic livestock. All mammals are susceptible to rabies, and it is nearly always fatal. In North Carolina, the disease most often occurs in wild animals, especially skunks, raccoons, bats and foxes. Raccoon rabies is present in the raccoon population in virtually every North Carolina county.
What you can do:
- Enjoy wildlife, but from a distance. Never try to approach, handle, feed or rescue wild animals;
- Vaccinate your pets against rabies, and keep the vaccinations current*;
- If possible, keep pets inside. Supervise pets outside, and keep dogs on a leash;
- Do not feed pets outside. Pet food and mulch attract wildlife;
- Do not feed wildlife, feral cats or feral dogs;
- Secure garbage cans with wildlife-proof lids.
*North Carolina General Statute 130A-185 requires owners of dogs, cats and ferrets to have their pets currently vaccinated against rabies, beginning at four months of age. If your pet is not currently vaccinated and is bitten by an animal that is or might be rabid, animal control is required by law to either quarantine the pet for six months or euthanize it. That choice must be made by the local health director. One shot is not enough; rabies vaccinations must be kept current. Talk to your veterinarian about when your pet needs its rabies booster shots.
For a list of confirmed rabid animals in Granville County since 2018, please click here.