Doswell animal attacks prompt health warning

Posted at 6:33 PM, Feb 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-08 18:34:10-05

DOSWELL, Va. (WTVR) — Health officials are warning folks in Hanover County about a suspected rabid wild animal that has reportedly attacked three people.

Hanover Animal Control officers and the Hanover Health Department said Friday that an investigation into the attacks is underway.

In a news release, officials said that the attacks, possibly by a fox, happened in Doswell near the Route 1 and Route 30 intersection near Kings Dominion.

Officials believe the animal has rabies since the attacks have been unprovoked.

The health department said residents should keep their pets indoors and keep a close eye on them as a precaution.

Additionally, if you spot any animals acting suspiciously call the Hanover County Animal Control office at 804-365-6140. And if you’re in danger of being attacked, call 911.

From the Virginia Department of Health — If You Have Been Bitten:

  • Don’t panic…but don’t ignore the bite, either. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and lots of water. Washing thoroughly will greatly lessen the chance of infection. Give first aid as you would for any wound.
  • If possible, capture the animal under a large box or can, or at least identify it before it runs away. Don’t try to pick the animal up. Call an animal control or law enforcement officer to come get it.
  • It’s critically important that you notify your family doctor immediately and explain how you got the bite. Your doctor will want to know if the animal has been captured. If necessary, your doctor will give the anti-rabies treatment recommended by the United States Public Health Service. Your doctor will also treat you for other possible infections that could be caused from the bite.
  • Report the bite to the local health department.