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      Mitchell County man undergoes rabies treatment after saving dog

      A Mitchell County man is undergoing rabies treatment after trying to separate his animal from a wild fox.

      "The gentleman and his dog were outside and at some point the fox came up out of the woods and attacked the dog and the man tried to separate the dog, got his harm scratched," said Christi Dixon, the County Nurse Manager at the Mitchell County Health Department.

      That fox tested positive for rabies - which is not the first case southwest Georgia has seen this year, especially with temperatures heating up.

      "You got more people outside during the summertime and you've got more animal activity in the summertime. Rabies is more prevalent during the summer months than it is in the fall and wintertime," said Mitchell County Health Department Environmental Health Specialist, Burt Spence.

      Now Mitchell County's Health Department is urging all pet owners to make sure their animals are updated on all shots - especially the rabies vaccination.

      The owner - who opted to get treatment after himself after being scratched - made sure his canine was up-to-date on all vaccines. Because of this pet owner's diligence, he is being credited for saving his best friend's life.

      "If the dog had been unvaccinated we would have recommended that he put the dog to sleep. Immediately, said Spence.

      An animal will die if it contracts rabies so it's very important that you keep your pet vaccinated," said Dixon.

      To ensure your pet is protected, experts say to make sure it gets its rabies vaccination once a year.