PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Two dogs in the Eagle Point area must remain on their owners’ properties for 45 days after they came in contact with a rabid fox.
On September 29, one of the dog owners called animal control to report that a fox displaying odd behavior had contact with the dogs.
The Portsmouth Bureau of Animal Control who promptly responded, tracked and captured the fox on October 1.
Wednesday, tests results from the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services indicated that the fox tested positive for rabies virus.
The dogs involved had been vaccinated for rabies but are being subjected to a 45-day observation period when they must remain on their owner’s properties.
No humans have been identified as being exposed.
The Health Department advises Portsmouth residents and visitors take the following steps to prevent families and pets from being exposed to rabies.
1. ELIMINATE OUTDOOR FOOD SOURCES AROUND THE HOME:
- Do not feed stray dogs or cats, or any wild animal.
- Garbage containers should be securely sealed with lids.
- After feeding pets, bring leftover food inside or dispose of it properly.
- Bird food should be placed in a bird feeder inaccessible to wild animals.
- Food stored in outbuildings (barns, open garages) should be inaccessible to animals.
2. AVOID CONTACT BETWEEN YOURSELF (OR YOUR PETS) AND WILD
ANIMALS OR STRAY DOGS AND CATS.
- Report any stray animals to the Portsmouth Bureau of Animal Control (393-8430) and avoid contact with this animal. If contact occurs between any wild animal and you or your pet, contact the Portsmouth Department of Public Health at 393-8585. It is imperative that you receive medical treatment as soon as possible. Call your veterinarian to examine your pet for wounds and administer a booster rabies shot.
- Keep dogs and cats confined to your property. Animals that are allowed to roam are more prone to come into contact with wild animals such as foxes and raccoons.
3. VACCINATE ALL PETS AGAINST RABIES, IT’S THE LAW! (Code of the City of Portsmouth, Chapter 4 Animals, Article 4 Rabies
Control- Section 4-96. Vaccination of Dogs or Cats).