Police report a Stanhope woman was bitten by a fox on the evening of Sept. 4, leading to a Hopatcong Animal Control probe showing that four of five foxes killed by Stanhope Police had rabies.
Lt. Thomas Kmetz of Hopatcong Police said residents near Musconetcong Avenue in Stanhope reported being bitten by foxes or being forced to fend off the animals to avoid injury. One woman who lives on the street reported a fox bit her on both ankles; she was treated at an area hospital, he said.
After the incidents were reported, Hopatcong Animal Control Officer Dale Sloat assisted the Stanhope Police Department in determining whether several foxes in the area were rabid, Kmetz said.
Sloat asked Stanhope Police to shoot any fox in the area showing rabies symptoms, according to Kmetz, and over the course of several days, officers there shot and killed five of the animals. After testing, results showed four of the five foxes tested positive for rabies.
Sloat passed on a list of behaviors that may indicate that an animal is rabid:
- Aggressive behavior
- Not afraid of people
- The animal just sits where it is
- The animal is falling over either while standing or walking
- The animal is walking or running in circles