2 dogs quarantined, rabies alert issued for Henry County neighborhood

Henry County Animal Care and Control issued a rabies alert for a portion of Stockbridge after a report of two dogs killing a rabid raccoon.

The dogs’ owner told FOX 5’s Alex Whittler she let one of her dogs out of the house to use the bathroom.

“He just wouldn’t stop barking,” Angela Feltman said.

That’s when she said her dog, Tyson, an American Pit Bull Terrier, fought off an aggressive raccoon.

She said the second dog never even left the house to see it.

“I’m just concerned,” she said.

Feltman said she has an invisible fence that stops her dogs from leaving her property— but it doesn’t stop sly bandits— and other potentially wild creatures from coming up to her pets.

“So they’re not actually going into the woods and attacking these raccoons,” Feltman said of her dogs.

“They [the raccoons] have to come into our living— our yard,” she said.

The raccoon in question was examined and tested positive for rabies.

Now both of Feltman’s dogs— Tyson and Georgia—are being quarantined— which is mandated by the Georgia Rabies Control Manual

In fact, all domestic animals exposed to rabies are to be secluded and their behavior monitored—whether they’ve been vaccinated or not.

Thankfully, Feltman’s were. So, they’ll be quarantined for 45 days.

Animal control said exposed pets without a vaccine are put at a potentially fatal risk.

“There are lots of low-cost options to having your animal vaccinated in the metro Atlanta area,” Henry County animal control’s Gerri Yoder said.

“It is always better to be safe than sorry.”

This comes about a week after Douglas County reported a raccoon tested positive for rabies.

The Henry County Animal Care and Control Department said it is unusual to have this many reports of rabies in the winter.

“It’s quite odd,” Yoder said. “Typically, we see the highest number of rabies positive animals in the summertime.”

But the message is constant year-round:

“It is the only vaccine that is required by state law and it protects your animal from a potentially fatal illness for which there is no cure.”

Yoder said there are two kinds of rabid behavior to look out for.

“Being extremely aggressive, charging you, lawnmower or bicycle,” she said.

The second, animal control says, often looks like the animal is drunk, unusually docile, or out of it.

Feltman said she wants to see a change in the wooded areas around her home, like traps.

“If it keeps happening, it’s going to eventually happen to a child,” Feltman said.

Animal control said residents can hire a wildlife trapper through the state’s department of natural resources.

While that is optional, a rabies vaccine is not.