The public health part of the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services has reported that a horse on Alcorn Road in Oak Ridge recently tested positive for rabies – making it the first confirmed case of animal rabies in the county this year.

The department is using the case to remind county residents that state law requires all domestic pets – cats, dogs, ferrets, etc. – aged four months or older, whether they live inside or outside, be vaccinated for rabies.

This includes animals that are always held in outdoor fenced areas.

County health officials also encourage close supervision of pets anytime they’re outdoors in order to help prevent contact with wild animals that might be carrying the virus.

Rabies passes through the wildlife population throughout the entire year and is something to be constantly guarded against.

County health officials provided the following tips to help prevent people and pets from being exposed to rabies:

• Avoid contact with wildlife, dead or alive.

 • Don’t “approach, try to play with, touch, rescue or treat any wildlife.” If you find a sick or injured animal, don’t attempt to deal with the situation yourself. Instead, call Guilford County Animal Control at 336-641-5990.

• Avoid all animals that display “unnatural behavior.”

• Don’t try to separate fighting animals.

• Feed your pets indoors since leaving food outside will attract dogs, cats and other wildlife.

Health officials also issue the following sage advice: “Wild animals are not usually friendly so be very careful if they approach you.”

In addition, you should report all stray animals you see – which are more unlikely to be vaccinated for rabies – to Animal Control by calling 336-641-5990 in Greensboro or, in High Point, by calling 336-883-3224. (The City of High Point handles its own animal control issues.)

If you’re unlucky enough to be bitten by an animal –  whether domestic, stray, or wild – wash the bitten area immediately with soap and water, seek medical attention, and report the bite to your local Animal Control office.

For more information on preventing rabies, you can call Guilford County Animal Services at 336-641-2506 or visit