North Carolina

Crazed fox bit NC woman in the leg, attacked her dogs. She grabbed a 2X4 and took aim

Rabies is “the most deadly virus on the planet.”

Although not that common, rabies is a serious concern among mammals.
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Although not that common, rabies is a serious concern among mammals.

When a crazed fox attacked her two pet dogs, a North Carolina woman grabbed a two-by-four and whacked the rabid animal away, a sheriff’s officer said.

The gray fox scampered into nearby bushes, but not before biting the woman in the calf of her leg, Cabarrus County sheriff’s Lt. James Torelli told The Charlotte Observer on Friday.

When deputies arrived at the woman’s home on U.S. 601 South between Concord and Midland, the fox went for them, too, Torelli said. That’s when the officers shot and killed the animal.

The woman, who is in her 70s, was hospitalized after Wednesday morning’s attack but has since been released, the officer said. She will continue to receive a series of rabies shots, after results from a state lab on Thursday confirmed the fox was rabid, according to Torelli.

At 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, the woman had let her dogs out as usual when the fox emerged and “got into it” with one of them, Torelli said. Two deputies arrived at her home after the woman called 911.

The woman’s dogs were up to date on their rabies vaccines but received booster shots, the lieutenant said.

Homeowners have the right to shoot or otherwise kill an animal that attacks them or their pets, Torelli said.

But he advises people to return to their home and call authorities if they see a wild animal acting aggressively or otherwise oddly. Cabarrus County animal control responders are sworn law enforcement officers, he said.

Martha Dodson of Fayetteville was sitting on her porch when a fox attacked her, ran inside her house and bit her son, she told news stations. Cumberland County officials say the animal had rabies.

Editor's note: The following video contains graphic content. Peter Costa, with the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, explains how to properly clean and treat a wound from a possible rabid animal bite. The video is an excerpt from a video.

An aggressive, rabid coyote attacks John Schroter's car in Huntersville. The Huntersville Police Department later tracked and killed the coyote.