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July 5, 2011

For More Information Contact

  • Robert Parker, public information officer, Western Region, 540-381-7100, ext. 151


(ROCKY MOUNT, Va.) – A gray fox attacked a puppy on Sunday, July 3, 2011 on Sunset Ridge Rd. in Rocky Mount. During this attack the puppy’s owner also was bitten by the fox, which then disappeared into the forest and is still at large. Sunset Ridge Rd. is located near the intersection of Rt. 40 West and Six Mile Post Rd. in Rocky Mount.

The puppy was too young to have received a rabies vaccine, and was euthanized. The owner has begun rabies post-exposure vaccination, to prevent the development of rabies.

Franklin County Animal Control and the Franklin County Health Department ask that anyone who may have had contact with a gray fox in this vicinity – or who knows of any suspected contact between a gray fox and a domestic animal or other person – to contact them immediately. Please call Franklin County Animal Control at 540-483-7440 or the Franklin County Health Department at 540-484-0292.
Rabies is a fatal disease that is caused by a virus. The virus is present predominantly in the saliva and nervous tissue (brain and nerve cells) of infected animals and is transmitted most often by a bite. Rabies causes an inflammation of the brain and is fatal once symptoms develop. If a person is exposed, treatment with four doses of the rabies vaccine over two weeks usually will prevent the development of rabies.

The best ways to prevent the spread of rabies from animals to humans are:

  • Vaccinate all dogs, cats and ferrets by four months of age, by a licensed veterinarian.
  • Enjoy wildlife at a distance.
  • Secure your yard and home.
  • Do not allow your animals to roam free.
  • Avoid contact with stray animals.
  • If you are bitten or exposed to rabies, wash the wound thoroughly with lots of warm water and soap and seek medical attention immediately.

For more information, visit


Last Updated: 07-30-2011

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