‘I felt like something was wrong’: Woman details encounter with rabid fox in Ocean Isle Beach

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OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) —- A fox suspected to be connected to two attacks that occurred earlier this week in the southern end of the county tested positive for rabies. Two people were attacked in Ocean Isle Beach and one in Sunset Beach.

“I felt like something was wrong, it just didn’t feel right. That’s all I can say, something didn’t feel right. For one it was broad daylight, and this fox didn’t look well.  It looked very malnourished, and it just –didn’t look happy or normal,” said Veronica Ready, rabid fox attack victim.

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Ocean Isle Beach resident Veronica Ready was walking down her driveway on hideaway road towards her mailbox around 5:30PM on Tuesday, when she saw a fox, and knew something wasn’t right.

“Feeling something was wrong, my fight or flight wanting to kick in…I really felt that I wanted to turn and run back up the drive way, but I also felt like I was afraid to take my eyes off of it,” said Ready.

Veronica said she was frozen with fear, and then the fox attacked.

“Just in a matter of moments it began to move towards me, I took off my shoe and tried to threaten it back, and then it simply leapt, and latched on to the inside of my leg.”

Not wanting to let it run free and possibly attack more people, she held on to it.

“And I reached down with my left hand and it wouldn’t let go, and I grabbed it around the throat and pulled it off of me, and then went down on my knees, and held it to the ground,” said Ready.

She said she never thought she would be attacked by a rabid animal in her neighborhood.

“I’ve got it in a choke hold, and of course my leg was bleeding like crazy, blood all over me, and I was really frightened,” said Veronica Ready. “I’ve got an extensive background with animals, even in the veterinary field, I’ve got some knowledge about rabies and different things, but it’s amazing how all of that seems to go away, when you become the one who just got attacked.”

Veronica said thanks to her neighbors, who saw the incident play out and called 911, the fox was captured and euthanized, and she was taken to the hospital to be treated.

“I don’t think anything happens without a reason, and I really do feel like God used me to contain that fox. You know, and to get him out of this neighborhood. However, I don’t think that that’s the end of the rabies situation here. We’ve had sightings by numerous people of at least one raccoon in the daytime that’s clearly sick,” said Veronica Ready.

Veronica is still receiving her treatments from the fox attack, and says she is thankful the treatment is available nearby in Bolivia.

Health Services and the Animal Protective Services Division at the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office are still investigating. They’ve set up traps in the woods in areas the fox was sighted in.