Health officials raising awareness of rabies after Phenix City woman attacked by fox

Health officials raising awareness of rabies after Phenix City woman attacked by fox

(WTVM) - As the temperatures rise, animals are becoming more active.

Raccoons, coyotes and foxes are being seen in neighborhoods all across the Chattahoochee Valley.

It was a scary day for these neighbors as a rabid animal ran out from under one woman’s car and latched on to her leg last week.

“Without a doubt, that thing would have killed one of my children if not both of them if I wasn’t there," said Lindsay Petsch.

”Or I don’t know what would have happened if I didn’t hear you,” Katelin Glossup said.

Petsch and Glossup have only been neighbors for about three weeks, yet they’ve shared an experience that they will never forget.

Petsch was picking up her two-year-old from Glossup’s house when a fox ran out from under her car and attacked her.

“Very painful," Petsch said. "Very, very, very, painful experience. We both agree it’s way worse than childbirth.”

They said it was around noon last Tuesday when this all happened, which isn’t a normal time to see a fox.

“When rabies settle in, you’ll start to see abnormal patterns," said Jarrod Yasenchok of Jarrod’s Pest Control. "So if you’re out during the day or if they’re getting a little closer to you than normal, that’s a little abnormal so those are some signs of rabies.”

Now both ladies and Petsch’s children are receiving rabies shots.

Officials know the dangers associated with rabies and want to warn the public.

“So, if you do see an animal that’s hurt or injured, please call animal control," said Pamela Kirkland with the Columbus Health Department. "Don’t try to do it yourself, and please teach your children not to get near injured animals.”

Petsch, Katelin, Jarrod’s Pest Control, and the Columbus Health Department all agreed the best way to go about taking care of an injured animal is to take caution and call animal control.

If you see an animal that’s normally not out during the day, there’s a good chance it has rabies, so stay away.

If by chance you are attacked, immediately seek medical attention.

Copyright 2019 WTVM. All rights reserved.