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Suspected rabid fox killed in Henry

By Michael Davis

Henry County Animal Control authorities say they shot and killed a fox Friday afternoon in a subdivision near the Clayton and Henry county line that may have been rabid.

First reported to Animal Control in the Rum Ridge subdivision around 1 p.m., the fox eluded authorities and disappeared into woods surrounding the area.

Jamaica Road resident Adam Mangham, 20, said he called Animal Control after the fox, showing its teeth, approached him while he sat on his porch.

In an area as wooded as the Rum Ridge subdivision, Mangham said, "It's normal to see them but they don't come up to you like that."

Later seen in the Spivey Chase subdivision, Officer Vince Farah was "able to take him out," according to Animal Control Supervisor Cathy Hewitt.

Whether the fox had rabies will never be positively determined, said Hewitt. "The state will only test if there's a possibility of contact (with humans or animals)," she said.

Officer Farah noted that the fox was "acting very disoriented and showing signs of what we call rabies."

Hewitt said that the fox could have been suffering from a number of different diseases including rabies and distemper or suffering brain damage from being hit by a car.

Hewitt said animals from Henry County are tested for rabies two to three times a week and to date, has had 12 positive cases this year.

"We want people to know it's out there," Hewitt said. Animal Control urges pet owners to keep rabies vaccinations up to date. Unvaccinated pets that have come into contact with rabid animals could be quarantined for six months or euthanized. Animals with current shots could be quarantined for 45 days, Hewitt said.