Foxes may carry distemper - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Foxes may carry distemper

January 9, 2004

Lowndes County - For the past two months, Bill Shultz has been busier than ever. "We've gotten a lot more calls on wild animals," said Shultz.

Most of those calls concern unusual acting foxes. Shultz's job is to go capture them. "Typically we'll go a couple of months without catching a fox, and now it seems like we're getting calls on them everyday," said Shultz.

Animal control officials think those foxes are infected with canine distemper. "They're mentally off, they circle, don't see well, and don't know that people are dangerous to them," said Amos Barfied, Veterinarian.

Distemper can't be passed on to humans, but it is highly contagious among animals. That's why vets say its so important to have your pets vaccinated.

And even though the foxes may appear sick, you shouldn't try to help. "They wander up into people's yards and some people even pick them up, that's very dangerous," said Barfield.

The best thing you can do if you spot a fox with distemper symptoms is stay away and call Animal Control.

posted at 3:50PM by ashley.harper@walb.com

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