On November 3, 2022, the North Carolina State Laboratory notified Caldwell County Animal Care Enforcement (ACE) that a cat submitted for testing was infected with the rabies virus. The cat, whose owners live in the Red Oak Road area of Granite Falls, is believed to have been infected by a skunk.
Two adults were also exposed to the infected cat and are undergoing treatment to prevent rabies.
ACE and the Caldwell County Health Department are working closely with pet owners in the Red Oak Road area to prevent further rabies cases.
“One of the best ways to protect your pets is to make sure they are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations,” said ACE Director Richard Gilliland. “To help residents protect their pets, we’re working with Brews & Mews to offer a drive-thru vaccination event on Saturday.”
The clinic takes place Saturday, November 5, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Caldwell Agricultural Fairgrounds. Vaccines are free for Caldwell County residents with a valid ID and $10 for non-county residents. Supplies for the clinic are limited.
In addition to keeping pets’ rabies vaccinations up-to-date, pet owners should also take the following precautions:
- Supervise your pets to prevent exposure.
- If your animal is exposed to a potentially rabid animal, wear gloves to protect yourself from the infectious saliva that may be on your animal’s coat.
- Teach your children to stay away from wild animals, including bats or animals they do not know.
- Avoid attracting wildlife to your home by removing food sources such as food scraps and removing cat and dog food at night.
If there are any questions concerning rabies and/or receiving a rabies vaccination, please contact the Animal Care Enforcement Division t at 829 Fairview Drive SW, Lenoir, NC 28645 or call 828-757-8625. If there is an emergency situation outside the normal working hours of 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, please notify the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office at 828-758-2324.