On October 1, 2020 the Cleveland County Health Department was notified of a fox that tested positive for rabies. This is the second rabid animal identified in the county this year. The animal was found at Morris Road, Kings Mountain, NC. Any person bitten or exposed to potentially infectious saliva from this fox should contact their healthcare provider or the local health department for a rabies risk assessment. You may contact the Cleveland County Health Department at 980-484-5169. Cleveland County Animal Services will be conducting a rabies vaccination canvass in the area. Rabies vaccinations and boosters are available for cats and dogs at the Animal Services center located at 1601 Airport Rd Shelby, NC 28150 Monday - Friday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Rabies initial vaccines and boosters are $10 per pet.
Rabies is a fatal yet preventable disease if post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is administered. Rabies is transmitted by the bite of an infected animal or via contamination of open wounds or mucus membranes with potentially infectious material such as saliva.
Prevention of rabies is based on protection of susceptible animals and people and appropriate management of persons and animals exposed to rabies:
1. Vaccinate pets. In accordance with NC State Law, all dogs, cats, and ferrets must be kept currently vaccinated against rabies and must wear a rabies tag. Cats are the most commonly identified domestic animal with rabies.
2. Control measures for pets exposed to rabies: If pets are exposed to rabies they should receive a booster dose of rabies vaccine if they are currently vaccinated at the time of exposure. If pets are not currently vaccinated against rabies when exposed, the animals will be euthanized or quarantined for six months in accordance with state law.
3. Control measures for persons exposed to rabies: Seek medical guidance from your healthcare provider or the local health department if you believe you have been exposed to rabies.
4. Limit stray and feral animals. In the cities of Shelby, Kings Mountain, Boiling Springs, and Grover all dogs must be kept on a leash. Persons should not approach stray or feral dogs or cats. Feral cat colonies should be intensively monitored and their location reported to Cleveland County Animal Services.
5. Leave wildlife alone. Raccoons and other wildlife serve as the reservoir for rabies in North Carolina.
Rabies occurs throughout North Carolina. Anyone that sees an animal demonstrating unusual behavior should call the Cleveland County Animal Services Department at (704) 481-9884 or visit their website at www.clevelandcountypets.org/contact-us and complete the Contact Us form