Three dogs had to be put down after they allegedly attacked and killed a nutria late last week at a residence located in the 1000 block of West Main St., Clinton.
According to Sampson County Animal Control officer Andrew Worley, the three dogs, two pit bulls and a boxer, were put to sleep after tests on the nutria came back from the state lab in Raleigh.
“The test were inconclusive (as to rabies) because the animal (nutria) had been decomposed too long,” the officer said Monday morning. “These are animals that are commonly known to be carriers of rabies, so an inconclusive result is just like a positive.”
Worley noted that none of the full-grown dogs had up-to-date rabies shots, but got the shots after the incident. “It was too late though,” he explained. “They had already been exposed beforehand, and it was too late late to save them.”
It was the first attack involving a nutria, also known as a river rat, in the county, the animal control officer stressed.
“We have nutria in Sampson County,” said Worley. “This is just the first time there has ever been an incident involving one that I know of.”
Since state law mandates dogs, cats and ferrets have their rabies shots at 4 months of age, and it can only be done by a licensed veterinarian, Worley said the owner of the dogs was cited.
The rabies booster shot costs less than $10.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to email@example.com.