Rockdale County sees spike in rabies

by: Wendy Corona Updated:

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ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga —

Rockdale County’s Facebook page is warning residents that rabbid animals are out and not afraid to attack pets and humans.

“This year we’ve had a few incidences where foxes have attacked people.  Four total attacks this year,” said Ciji Baker, Rockdale County’s Animal Control director.

Baker says it’s the most he has seen in his 13-year career in animal control.  Two foxes tested positive for rabies, however Baker thinks it’s a problem unique to this county and not because of proximity to Henry County, which had at least one neighborhood under quarantine.

“I don’t think it’s an overflow of saying the wild animals from there are coming over here.We are a neighboring county, but there’s wild animals in every county,” stated Baker.

In the Henson Village subdivision, a raccoon stirred up trouble last week that neighbors are still talking about.

“One of the neighbors told me they killed the raccoon right over there,” said neighbor Willie Palmer. 

She believes the problem is sprawl.

“(We’re) taking over where they used to live, the habitats of the animals so they running around,” said Palmer.

And the wildlife appears to be getting more used to seeing humans in what was at one point, their habitat.

“A child was playing in the yard and was attacked.  A gentleman was going to a yard sale, got out of a car and a fox came out of the bush and attacked,” explained Barker.

Barker says people should not interfere with wildlife and to have their pets’ rabies vaccines up to date. Animal Control needs the brain intact in order to test an animal for rabies.