News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, July 31, 2013
MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW) -- A fourth raccoon has been tested positive for rabies in Columbia County.
"I could see it in the grass first, then it walked up this little hill, at first I thought it was a big cat," said Patrick Doughty who shot and killed a rabid raccoon.
But with a second glance, he knew something wasn't right.
"It hissed and a little barking sound," he said.
He was standing face to face with a raccoon that showed no fear.
"I got this close and it definitely wasn't afraid of me," Doughty said.
The raccoon he saw was foaming at the mouth, twitching and seemed disoriented.
"I, I wasn't going to take a chance," he said.
After a few phone calls to local law enforcement, he decided to take things into his own hands.
"I don't typically just shoot stuff for the fun of it, I knew it was acting extremely odd," he said.
But he did shoot, and it's a good thing he did.
"Its when the animal starts showing neurological symptoms, that you want to be concerned," said Daniel Mayne with Columbia County Animal Control.
A week later, that raccoon became the fourth rabies case this year for him. But the numbers are low compared to years past, where in 2008, there were more than 10 rabies cases in the county.
"It's the county ordinance, it's state law that every dog, cat or ferret over 12 weeks of age is current on rabies vaccinations," Mayne said.
Vaccinations that could protect your dog, cat or even your child. That's especially important for Doughty.
"I'm in a neighborhood; there are children, there are pets," he said.
And he says it's not a place where where rabid raccoons are welcome.