North Carolina state law requires owners of dogs, cats and ferrets to have their pets currently vaccinated against rabies, beginning at four months of age and wear a valid rabies tag at all times.
Rabies is a deadly virus that affects the central nervous system causing disease in the brain and death.
In North Carolina, the most common type of rabies is raccoon-variant rabies. It is found commonly in raccoons, skunks, red and grey foxes, coyotes, wolves, groundhogs and beavers. Bats can also transmit rabies but have their own bat variant rabies virus.
Any mammal can become infected with rabies. The virus can infect domestic pets, agricultural animals such as cows and horses, and people when they are exposed to rabid wildlife. Rabies is transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal but also can be spread by the saliva coming into contact with an open wound or broken skin.
Additional information about Rabies is available at the NC Department of Health and Human Services Epidemiology Division's website by clicking here.
What You Can Do
- Vaccinate your pets against rabies and keep the vaccinations current.
- Keep pets inside. Supervise pets outside, and keep dogs on a leash.
- Do not feed pets outside. Pet food and mulch attract wildlife.
- Avoid wildlife. Do not touch, pet or feed any wildlife whether they appear to be sick or not.
- Do not approach any animal that is unfamiliar to you or your family.
- Secure garbage cans with wildlife-proof lids.
Should your pet come in contact with an animal that might be considered a rabies carrier, contact your local Animal Control immediately, or call 911 after regular business hours. If you live in the City of Burlington you can call us at (336) 578-1386. Visit our Animal Control page to find out who to call for Animal Control Services in other areas of Alamance County.
Should you need to get a rabies vaccine for your pet(s), please contact your veterinarian.
If you do not have an established relationship with a veterinarian, other options include:
The Spay & Neuter Clinic of Alamance County - 1919 South Church St., Burlington, NC; 336-570-6767,
Pet Supermarket - 2749 S Church St, Burlington, NC; 336-584-8044
Tractor Supply - 3129 Garden Rd, Burlington, NC; 336-586-9222