Positive rabies cases detected in Brunswick and Columbus counties

Local animal shelters are reminding pet owners to make sure their rabies vaccines are up to date.
Local animal shelters are reminding pet owners to make sure their rabies vaccines are up to date.(NBC12)
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 4:26 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2022 at 6:20 PM EST
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BOLIVIA, N.C. (WECT) - Between Brunswick and Columbus counties, there are now two confirmed cases of rabies that were announced on Monday, Nov. 14.

The Columbus County Health Department announced on the same day that they have at least one confirmed case of rabies in a wild animal near Red Hill Road. You can contact the county Animal Protective Services at (910) 641-3945 and Health Department at (910) 640-6615.

Brunswick County Health Services says that a cat tested positive for rabies the week of Nov. 2 in the southern-central part of the county.

According to BCHS, the cat is suspected to have been injured by an unknown wild animal, become ill, and later attacked its owner. The cat was taken to a veterinarian where it was euthanized and tested for rabies.

The cat’s owner is receiving the necessary rabies vaccinations following the incident. The cat was not current with its rabies vaccinations.

BCHS stated that N.C. state law requires that all owned dogs, cats, and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies at four months and keep the rabies vaccinations current throughout the animal’s life.

Health Services and the Animal Protective Services division at the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office are investigating these incidents and will continue to inform the community about any safety steps they can take.

Brunswick County Health Services advises residents to take the following steps:

  • Vaccinate your pets against rabies and keep the vaccinations current.
  • Supervise pets outdoors, and keep all pets on a leash.
  • Do not feed pets outdoors. Pet food attracts wildlife.
  • Do not feed wildlife, feral cats or feral dogs.
  • Secure garbage cans with wildlife-proof lids.
  • Leave young wildlife alone. If you find a juvenile animal that appears to need help, it is best to leave it alone and call a wildlife professional.