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1st rabies case of year in Caldwell

LENOIR -- Caldwell County authorities have confirmed their first case of rabies this year, and it will lead to the euthanizing of three dogs, officials say.

The county’s health department says Caldwell County Animal Control was contacted Saturday by a man who lives on Red Shoals Place in the Morris Creek community and said a sick skunk was on his property.

Animal Control Director Greg Greene went to the residence and found the skunk in an area with the man’s three dogs. Greene said he watched the skunk attack two of the dogs before he was able to kill the skunk. The dog’s owner told Greene that his dogs had not been vaccinated against rabies.

The skunk was tested for rabies by the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health, which told Greene on Monday that the animal was rabid.

County officials say the three dogs will have to be euthanized because they were not vaccinated against rabies. Rabies is a viral disease that is almost always fatal once symptoms begin. It is spread by the saliva of infected animals.

Pet owners are required to have dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies.

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