Man, toddler bitten by rabid dogs

By Drum Digital
21 March 2013

A homeless man and a toddler from Amanzimtoti are the latest people to be attacked by rabid animals in KwaZulu-Natal, The Citizen reported on Thursday.

The toddler was bitten this week by a puppy which had shown no signs of being rabid.

The homeless man was bitten by a stray dog that he begged the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to allow him to keep as a pet.

The SPCA was called about the dog, and found it in a built-up area of Amanzimtoti. While trying to catch the animal, the homeless man was bitten. The dog had not shown any signs of being rabid.

"We told him to go to the hospital, but he refused," Amanzimtoti SPCA manager Tracey Girling was quoted as saying.

"Later on the health department went looking for him. The animal was found to be rabid by the state vet, but the man clearly never saw obvious signs the dog was rabid."

Girling said there had been several rabies cases this year.

Although the disease was almost always fatal to humans, many animal owners failed to vaccinate their pets, or only vaccinated them once. She said vaccination had to be done annually.

"Rabies cases are down from several years ago, but there seems to be a spike in the number of incidents just before the Easter holiday."

The two Amanzimtoti attacks came a few days after 26 people were bitten by two rabid dogs over a four-day period near Marianhill, west of Durban.

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