September 12, 2023

State of Alabama
Press Release: Public Health, Alabama Department of

Fox in Ashland tests positive for rabies


CONTACT:  Dee W. Jones, DVM, (334) 206-5969

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is reminding pet owners to keep their animals up to date on rabies vaccine. A fox in Ashland was found to have rabies last week. 

The fox was reported to the local law enforcement as acting strangely and stumbling around in the city limits. Police captured it, and the fox tested positive for rabies. No other animals were known to be exposed, but there were a few domestic animals on the property that were not vaccinated. The fox is having additional tests to identify the strain of rabies. Wildlife, especially, raccoons, pose a risk of rabies to other animals and humans. The best protection is to keep your animal current on rabies vaccines.

State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Dee Jones said, “Vaccinating your animals against rabies is the best way to keep your pets protected from the deadly virus. Animal vaccinations also help protect people. People are often exposed when the animal first becomes sick and before rabies can be confirmed.”

Alabama law requires all dogs, cats, and ferrets to be vaccinated at 3 months of age and annually unless they receive a three-year rabies vaccine. The first rabies vaccination is only good for one year regardless of which vaccine a pet gets. 

Rabies prevention involves people:

  • Taking precautions with wildlife.
  • Making sure their pets are current on rabies vaccinations.
  • Always reporting an animal bite or other exposures to their medical provider and the ADPH. 

To avoid possible exposures to rabies:

  • Do not let pets run loose, confine pets in 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, visit the rabies section of ADPH's Infectious Diseases website.       




County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.

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