Fox in Prattville tests positive for rabies; vaccination for pets urged


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

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has confirmed that a Prattville resident has been bitten by a rabies-positive fox. The bite occurred July 1 when the fox was attacking the resident’s dog.

The Prattville Police Department responded to the call, and with wildlife officials secured the fox and prepared it for testing at the ADPH Bureau Clinical Laboratories. The resident has begun treatment and will be taking the dog to the veterinarian for a booster rabies vaccination.

According to Dr. Dee W. Jones, State Public Health Veterinarian, "This is another reminder to get your pets vaccinated against rabies regardless of where you live. We have found rabies positives in both domestic animals and wildlife very close to the most populated parts of Autauga County this year.”

Rabies is found primarily in raccoons, with the raccoon strain being the most common threat to our domestic animals. Dr. Jones added, “Further testing will confirm if this fox was infected with the raccoon strain which is helpful for biologist and wildlife agencies when trying to best to control it, but the most important message is that vaccinating pets is the best practice for protecting public health.”

It is very common for domestic animals and pets to have contact with a wild rabid animal. Alabama state law requires that dogs, cats and ferrets 12 weeks of age and older be current with rabies vaccination. Rabies vaccines are also available for horses and other livestock if recommended by a veterinarian. Vaccinating animals reduces the risk of rabies infection should an exposure occur; thus, vaccinations help protect animals, as well as their owners and caretakers.

Rabies prevention is multifaceted. It involves people taking precautions with wildlife, making sure their pets are current on rabies vaccinations, and always reporting an animal bite or other exposure to their medical provider or ADPH. 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.

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



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