Hanover County officials are investigating reports that a possibly rabid animal, perhaps a fox or coyote, attacked three people in the Doswell area recently.
A man was attacked by an animal outside his home on Jefferson Davis Highway Thursday evening last week and was knocked to the ground. The man struggled with the animal and it eventually fled.
Two children were attacked in their home on Pleasants Circle Friday morning; the animal apparently entered through an open door. The animal bit one child in the face and scratched the other child before an adult chased it out of the home.
All three victims received medical treatment, according to Sgt. Chris Whitley of the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. The two incidents occurred within about a mile of each other, said Whitley, in the vicinity of Jefferson Davis Highway and the intersection of state Route 30.
The county’s animal control staff set a trap in the area but has not caught any animals.
Whitley says the good news is that, if the animal is indeed rabid, infected animals usually die within 7-10 days.
There have been no other reports of sightings of the animal.
Sheriff’s deputies and animal control officers continue to patrol the area.
The county’s animal control office and health department are warning people in the area to avoid contact with wild and stray animals. Any unusual animal behavior should be reported to the animal control office at (804) 365-6140.
Residents in the area also should closely monitor their pets and keep their pets indoors as much as possible.
A person who is danger of being attacked by an animal or has been attacked should call 911.