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Why do they tell people to use pepper spray on rabid foxes instead of trying to set traps for them?

Judy Royal

Recent fox attacks and an increase in rabies cases have many people worried about being bitten and infected by wild animals. A person who witnessed a fox attack near Ogden on May 16 suggested people carry pepper spray to thwart any approaching animals that could be rabid.

Each county’s animal control division investigates animal attacks. New Hanover County officials say if they know exactly which animal has bitten someone, they capture it and take it in for rabies testing. But if the animal has fled into the woods they don’t go after it because foxes and raccoons are so common that they wouldn’t know exactly which one was the culprit. In addition, they don’t set traps because it’s unlikely they would catch a rabid animal since once infected, they lose interest in food.

Advice from an animal control supervisor: Have all pets vaccinated and call animal control if you see a wild animal that looks sick or is acting strange. Signs of rabies are staggering, making a lot of noise, drooling or biting at the air.

New Hanover County Animal Control: (910) 798-6500

Brunswick County Animal Services: (910) 754-8204

Pender County Animal Control: (910) 259-1349

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