Dog in Elmore confirmed positive for rabies; precautions advised


CONTACT: Dee W. Jones, D.V.M., (334) 206-5969

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) issues a reminder to raise rabies awareness and the importance of prevention. Multiple members of a single household in the Harris Road area of Elmore in Elmore County were exposed to an unvaccinated dog that contracted rabies. All of the individuals exposed are currently undergoing treatment that prevents human infection following exposure.

The dog, described as a beagle-mix, was confirmed to have rabies at an ADPH laboratory following an examination by a local veterinarian. The dog was a family pet, but was not kept in an enclosure and reportedly did have some contact with strays in the area. This case of rabies follows another case a couple of weeks ago in the Titus community, also in Elmore County.

The ADPH is investigating any potential exposure to the animal in order to notify the individuals of the proper treatment to prevent possible human transmission. According to Dr. Dee W. Jones, State Public Health Veterinarian, “First and foremost, our concern is identifying any person or animal that may have had direct contact with an infected animal, so preventative treatment is needed. The nature of the risks of human exposure to rabies has dramatically declined over the last 60 years or so, but since the virus is still seen frequently in raccoons, that the risk is still relevant.”

Dr. Jones adds that the ADPH is sharing information with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and federal wildlife officials to assess the origin of the rabies strain and to better understand the spread of rabies in animals.

The vaccination of pets against rabies is required in Alabama and is considered the best protection for pets and their owners. This particular dog was recently taken in by the family as a stray and had no history of rabies vaccination.

In addition to vaccination, area residents are advised to take the following precautions to avoid possible exposure to rabies:

  • Do not allow pets to run loose; confine them within a fenced-in area or with a leash.
  • Do not leave uneaten pet food or scraps near your residence.
  • Do not illegally feed or keep wildlife as pets.
  • Do not go near wildlife or domestic animals that are acting in a strange or unusual manner.
  • Caution children not to go near any stray or wild animal, regardless of its behavior.
  • Advise children to tell an adult if they are bitten or scratched by any animal.

A person who is bitten or scratched by an animal should wash wounds immediately with mild soap and water, apply first aid, and seek medical attention or contact the county health department immediately.

For more information about rabies and prevention, please contact ADPH at (334) 206-5969 or visit



County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.