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Animal bite warning issued in Forsyth County after sharp increase in reported cases

Forsyth County officials said there's a drastic rise in animal bites. Here are some ways to stay safe.

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office said people need to be careful because of a series of animal bites. 

They said their Animal Services Division has noticed a marked increase in animal bites.  Usually, the number climbs a bit in the warmer months but in May of 2019, there were 82 animal bites for the whole month in Forsyth County. Thirteen days into May of 2020 and there have already been 50 bites reported. 

“We believe that the dramatic rise is a result of increased exposure. More people are at home, more people are out walking in their neighborhoods, and so there are more encounters and interactions with animals than normal. This has led to an increased number of bites being reported,” Captain Van Loveland, the Animal Services Division Commander said.

Loveland also said, “We want our community members, both two- and four-legged, to be safe." 

The Sheriff's Office included these safety practices: 

  • Make sure your pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccines. It's the law and vet offices are still open. 
  • Don't leave kids unattended with animals, even the family pet. They may not pick up on the subtle cues that an animal is uncomfortable. 
  • Leave animals alone if you don't know them. 
  • Forsyth County ordinances prohibit pets that "run at large." That means they have to stay on your property and when they're not they have to be kept on a leash. 
  • And if you are bitten report it to animal services by calling 336-703-2480 and picking option 1. 

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