Rabid fox bites Alabama dog owner; officials urge residents to vaccinate pets

PRATTVILLE, Ala. — Alabama health officials are urging residents to vaccinate their pets after a rabid fox attacked a dog and bit its owner.

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According to WSFA-TV, the incident occurred July 1 in Prattville, the Alabama Department of Public Health said in a news release Friday. Prattville police and wildlife officials retrieved the fox, which tested positive for rabies, the TV station reported.

The dog owner “has begun treatment and will be taking the dog to the veterinarian for a booster rabies vaccination,” according to the news release.

In a statement, State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Dee W. Jones said officials have found rabies-positive domestic and wild animals this year near “the most populated parts of Autauga County,” where Prattville is located.

“This is another reminder to get your pets vaccinated against rabies regardless of where you live,” Jones said in the statement, adding, “The most important message is that vaccinating pets is the best practice for protecting public health.”

Under Alabama law, dogs, cats and ferrets that are at least 12 weeks old must have a current rabies vaccination, the news release said.

Officials also cautioned residents against allowing pets to run loose, leaving food scraps near their homes, illegally feeding or keeping wild pets, approaching wild or domestic animals that are exhibiting strange behavior; and allowing children to go near stray or wild animals, according to the release.

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