Rabid fox that attacked Fayetteville family died on the way to animal shelter

May 17, 2019 GMT

A rabid fox that attacked a Fayetteville woman and her adult son inside their home was captured on Monday and died on the way to the animal shelter, officials told WRAL News.

The attack happened Monday on Christina Street off Hoke Loop Road in the western part of Fayetteville.

Martha Dotson, 65, said she came face-to-face with a rabid fox that had maneuvered its way behind the screen door on her porch.

“I thought it was one of our cats trying to get out,” she said. “And I grabbed it (and) all I could see was teeth.”

When she realized it was a fox, she dropped it like a hot potato.


She said the fox scratched her on the leg before it darted inside.

The fox, which has tested positive for rabies, bit Robert, her 40-year-old son.

“He bit my oldest son on the back of the leg,” she said.

Dotson says they tried to throw it out once but she was in the way, which allowed the animal to run back in the house a second time.

“My youngest son grabbed it by the tail and the nap of the neck and yelled, ‘Mom, get out of the way,’” Dotson said. “And when I did, he threw it about half way to the yard.”

The fox ran under a pickup parked beside the house, which is where it stayed until Cumberland County Animal Control officers arrived and retrieved it.

While the fox was under the truck, a school bus stopped at the corner to let children off, Dotson told WRAL News. Dotson’s son told the children to stay away from their home and get inside quickly.

Dotson said she and her eldest son are undergoing a painful series of rabies shots.

Animal control officers said the fox died on its way to the shelter Monday afternoon.

County animal control officials said residents should be sure their pets’ rabies shots are current.

Only one active rabies case was logged in Cumberland County last year, and the Dotson incident is the first confirmed case this year.