Rabid fox reported in IOW

Published 10:51 am Friday, July 12, 2013

On July 2, just after 8 p.m. in the 14000 block of Waterworks Road, a 70-year-old Isle of Wight woman was attacked by a rabid fox, which then attacked a sheriff’s deputy before being shot.

Sgt. Kimberly Epps and Dep. C.J. Griffin arrived at the home to respond to a complaint of a fox attacking a cat and then trying to bite through a door of the home.

The deputies found no trace of the fox and advised the homeowner to call if she spotted it again.

They cleared the call but were still on scene when they heard loud screams from the back of the residence. They ran back to find that the homeowner, who had gone outside to move her car from the shed to the back door, had been attacked by the fox. It jumped into her lap when she opened the vehicle door to exit and was biting her.

She managed to fall out of the car as the deputies approached, and they both attempted to get the fox off her. Neither could get a clear shot to euthanize it. The fox then jumped from the victim onto Dep. Griffin, biting onto the handcuff case on his duty belt. He shook himself vigorously to make the fox fall off and was finally successful.

The fox ran far enough away that a fatal shot could be fired. The animal was sent to the lab and has tested positive for rabies.

The homeowner was transported to the hospital where she had to undergo rabies treatment.

All residents are asked to be extra cautious and never to approach any wildlife.