Safety Advisories

Public Safety Advisory on Rabies

Rabies is a deadly viral disease affecting the central nervous system that lives in the saliva. Rabies can be prevented but not cured. An animal or human can get rabies when bitten, licked or scratched by a sick animal. Fortunately, by taking a few simple precautions, it is easy to prevent rabies.

  • Make sure your pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations. Dogs, cats and ferrets are required to have a current rabies vaccination. Your pets should always wear their rabies vaccination and license tags.
  • Puppies and kittens that have not been vaccinated should not be left outdoors unsupervised.
  • Obey leash laws and keep your pets restrained.
  • Report stray animals to Animal Control at 704-847-5555.
  • Teach your children to stay away from animals they do not know. Even a rabid wild animal may act tame.
  • If raccoons or other animals are lurking around your yard and acting sick or abnormal, call Animal Control.
  • Avoid attracting or handling wild animals.
  • Feed your pets indoors. Do not toss table scraps into your yard. Do not leave pet food outside.
  • Keep your property free of exposed garbage, pet food and bird feed. If trash must be stored outside at night, put it in sturdy tightly closed containers.
  • Keep your home in good repair to prevent animals from entering through cracks and crevices. Use strong metal mesh to cover potential entryways such as chimneys, dryer vents and holes in eaves.
  • If you find a bat in your home, call Animal Control, your physician and the Health Department. Even minimal contact with bats may result in rabies transmission.
  • If you are disposing of a wild animal, wear gloves and use a shovel. Avoid direct contact.
  • Do not touch an injured animal, call Animal Control.
  • Stay away from animal traps and storm drains. Wild animals may travel through storm drains.
  • There is no easy test for rabies. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, follow these guidelines:
  • Wash all wounds and contact areas thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Contact your physician.
  • Call Animal Control to report the incident at 704-847-5555. North Carolina law requires animal bites to be reported by the person bitten, the owner of the biting animal and the physician who first treats the bite victim.
  • Telephone the Health Department at 704-336-6440.
  • If no risk of further injury, isolate the animal until Animal Control arrives to investigate.

If a possible rabid animal attacks your pet, follow these guidelines:

  • Put on gloves before touching your pet.
  • Isolate your pet.
  • Call your veterinarian; your pet may need a rabies booster shot immediately.
  • Call Animal Control at 704-847-5555.

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