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Police: Rabid fox killed in Chase City

Authorities are warning residents in the Chase City area to exercise caution after a fox killed in last week tested positive for rabies. 
According to police reports, the fox was killed by a citizen Thursday evening.

Police said a fox tried to attack a woman and her children outside their Railroad Avenue home Wednesday afternoon. 

Tammy Mead held the animal at bay with a chair while her children went inside the house.  The woman was able to enter the home without injury and quickly notified authorities.

According to Chase City Police Chief J.A. Jordan, officers were dispatched to the residence, but were unable to capture or kill the animal.

At 7:35 p.m. Thursday afternoon, police received a second call from a resident in the same area.  The caller indicated a fox had approached him, acting in an aggressive manner.  The caller was able to kill the animal, police said.

Officials retrieved the carcass of the animal and sent it to a state lab for testing.

After she had examined the animal, Mead told authorities it was not the same animal t had attacked her the previous day.

Mead, after looking at photos of similar animals, told authorities she believed that she and her children had actually been attacked by a coyote.

Both coyotes and foxes have been spotted inside Chase City.

On Tuesday, Jordan confirmed that there have been addition reports of foxes in the area.

“There were at least two other foxes that were sighted but at this point,” said Jordan.  “We have not been able to determine if they were acting strangely,” said Jordan.  

Jordan also confirmed that numerous reports have been made of coyote sightings in recent years.

“I urge anyone seeing the foxes, coyotes, any animal, either domestic or wild, acting strangely to contact animal control and police.”

Doug Blanton, Chief Animal Warden for Mecklenburg County said Tuesday afternoon the fox killed in Chase City on Thursday evening tested positive for rabies.

“The one they killed did come back positive,” said Blanton.  “We don’t know if that was the one that attacked the lady or not.

We’ve had people tell us that they’ve seen two or three more foxes, both before and since Thursday night, crossing the road and back but none of the others have come up and done anything out of the ordinary.”

Blanton stressed citizens should exercise caution because it was possible that the other foxes in the pack, or coyotes, could also be rabid.

“It is like that there are others but unless they come out, we don’t have any way of knowing 100 percent.  But, it is likely.”
Blanton added his department has received several other reports of foxes sighted in Chase City and has even placed traps.  “We haven’t had any luck in catching them, though,” said Blanton.

Although Blanton said that he has not received specific reports of coyotes inside Chase City, he did say Tuesday the animals have been spotted inside nearby towns and would not be surprised to hear the animals had been spotted in town.  “They’re around,” said Blanton, “They’re everywhere.”

Blanton added the Chase City Police Department has stepped up patrols in the Railroad Avenue area and is on the lookout for possible rabid animals.  He also urged citizens to take basic precautions in dealing with any animal.

“People do need to be careful,” Blanton said. “If you see a wild animal, don’t approach it.  If it runs off, don’t worry.   If you see an animal you think might have rabies, call 911.”