Officials confirm rabies case, issue warning
Public health officials have confirmed a case of rabies in a dead raccoon found in the 2300 block of Strawberry Lane in Durham.
In the wake of that finding, the Durham County Sheriff’s Animal Services Division is advising residents to ensure their pets’ rabies vaccinations are up to date.
The raccoon was the first confirmed case of rabies in Durham County.
An animal services officer responded Jan. 29 to a resident’s report she discovered a dead raccoon in her front yard. When the officer arrived, he determined that it appeared the raccoon had been killed by another animal — likely a pet dog, according to the sheriff’s department.
The raccoon was taken by the officer and later delivered North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health where it was tested for the rabies virus. Two days later, on Jan. 31, the laboratory confirmed the dead raccoon had been infected with rabies.
“This is an excellent example of why we encourage people to keep their pets current on the rabies vaccine,” Lt. Brendan Hartigan of the Sheriff’s Animal Services Division said. “You never know if your dog or cat might encounter a wild animal that’s infected with rabies, and the only way to truly protect them from infection is to ensure they’re vaccinated. It’s also worth mentioning that state law requires any dog, cat, or ferret four months and older to be vaccinated,” he added.
The Sheriff’s Animal Services Division, located at 3005 Glenn Rd in Durham, offers rabies vaccines every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. for a cost of $15 to county residents. No appointment is necessary, but photo identification is required and payments must be made in cash. For more information please call 919-560-0630.