Rabies is a devestating and almost always, if not treated, fatal.  A dog that was shot and killed in the Orange County area tested positive for rabies so residents and pet owners need to be very aware.

This information from The News and Observer.

Orange County health officials are asking anyone who may have had contact with any of 11 dogs in northern Orange County to contact them about possible exposure to rabies.

WHAT HAPPENED: On Monday, a dog shot and killed Thursday north of Cedar Grove tested positive for rabies. The German Shepherd mix had bitten or scratched someone and fought with another dog near N.C. 49 and Wade Loop Road.

The rabid dog had contact with her five puppies plus three juvenile dogs owned by the same person:

* One medium-size tan-and-black male shepherd mix,

* One medium-size male pit-bull mix with tan markings on a white body, and

* One medium-size female pit-bull mix with tan markings on a white body.

On Sunday the juvenile dogs were seen with two dark stray dogs near the owner’s property. Animal Control is trying to find these dogs and asks anyone with information to immediately call 245-2075.

Animal Control learned that none of the rabid dog owner’s dogs was vaccinated. The owner surrendered all the dogs, which were euthanized to make sure they did not expose any people or pets to rabies, officials said. State law requires pets that have not been vaccinated and that have come in contact with a rabid animal to be destroyed or quarantined for six months. Vaccinated animals should get a booster shot within 72 hours.

County officials — citing state law protecting the confidentiality of records identifying those who may have certain diseases, including rabies — would not provide the name of the dogs’ owner or the address where the animals were kept.

WHO SHOULD CALL: Anyone who had contact with any of these dogs since May 27 should immediately call the county’s communicable disease nurses at 968-2022, ext. 314 or 275. Anyone whose pets might have had contact with these dogs should call 245-2075.

THE RISK: The rabid dog could have “shed” or transmitted the rabies virus before it started acting abnormally or aggressively, county officials stressed.

HOW MANY CASES: So far this year Orange County has had 12 positive rabies tests: four raccoons, four skunks, two foxes, one bat, and one dog. Last year, there were 27 cases, 18 of them raccoons.

This is only the third dog to test positive for rabies in Orange County since 1994. The others were in 2003 and 2005. During the same time period, there were three positive tests for cats: two in 1997 and one in 1998.

Last year, 520 animals were confirmed rabid by North Carolina’s rabies laboratory, an increase of 62 cases from the year before.

If you live in or are around the Orange County area, please keep aware of this danger and if you suspect that you’ve seen any of the dogs or you or your pets have come into contact with them, contact the above number immediately! This threat poses a very serious danger!

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