Rabid bobcat attack in Burgaw

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BURGAW, N.C. (WWAY) — The Pender County Sheriff’s Office had to intervene when a rabid bobcat attacked a couple in Burgaw.

On Friday, April 9th, 2021, at 07:20 am, the Pender County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting a bobcat attack in the Creekside neighborhood of Burgaw.

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Law enforcement and Animal Control officers responded to the scene, and the bobcat was euthanized by law enforcement.

The animal was sent to the State Lab in Raleigh for emergency testing. The animal was determined to be positive for the Rabies virus.

Animal control officers conducted an investigation and followed up with residents in the affected and surrounding neighborhoods. The individuals who came in contact with the bobcat were treated at a local medical facility.

It is North Carolina state law that pets are kept vaccinated against rabies. Pets can receive rabies vaccine as early as 12 weeks of age. However, they are not considered immunized until 28 days after the administration of the initial rabies vaccine.

During this time owners must ensure their pets are not exposed to rabies. Here are the precautions to take:

· Vaccinate your pets against rabies and keep the vaccinations current.

· Keep pets indoors, supervise pets outside and abide by all containment laws.

· Do not feed pets outside. Pet food attracts wildlife that may carry rabies.

· Do not feed feral wildlife, feral cats, or dogs.

· Secure garbage cans with wildlife-proof lids.

Any unvaccinated pets should be vaccinated immediately. Remember that if this is your pets first rabies vaccination, they are not considered protected for 28 days after the shot is administered

April is Free Rabies Vaccination Month in Pender County. Residents can contact the Pender County Animal Shelter at 910-259-1484 for more information.

WWAY will have much more on this story in an interview with the couple later tonight.