KERNERSVILLE, N.C. — A Forsyth County couple has their dog back, after fearing it was going to be quarantined for six months.
Michael and April McQueen’s 11-year-old dog Simon was quarantined last week after being sprayed by a skunk.
April McQueen said she was walking Simon when a skunk sprayed him. As a precaution, she took Simon to a veterinarian to be checked out and discovered he was three weeks late on renewing his rabies booster vaccination.
“That’s when I was told they were going to have to contact animal control because his rabies shot had lapsed,” she said. “The next morning I get a call (from animal control) saying they want to quarantine our dog for six months or euthanize him.”
North Carolina law requires pets exposed to animals prone to carry rabies like skunks, foxes, coyotes, bats and raccoons be either euthanized or quarantined, at the owners expense, for six months if their rabies vaccination isn’t up to date.
“It’s due to the fact that rabies can take up to six months before a pet shows signs of the virus,” said Tim Jennings with the Forsyth County Animal Control. “It’s why we stress the importance of keeping pets up to date on their vaccinations.”
Simon’s owners appealed the decision and Simon was released on Thursday with no reason given.
“He didn’t come in contact with the skunk,” said April on Monday. “He never touched the skunk, the skunk never touched him, he wasn’t bitten, there was no yelp, and there was no scuffle.”
Infected skunks spread rabies through bites or other forms of direct contact, but skunk sprays cannot cause rabies exposure, according to the University of Nebraska.