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Raccoon (Photo via Alan Alquist/Unsplash)

Another raccoon has tested positive for rabies in Arlington.

The raccoon was captured in the Boulevard Manor neighborhood Sunday morning, according to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. The organization is warning residents — particularly pet owners — about the dangers of a rabies infection.

From ALWA:

On July 10, 2022 at approximately 10:30am, Arlington County Animal Control responded to retrieve a raccoon in the 200 block of North Manchester Street, just West of Bluemont Park. The raccoon tested POSITIVE for the rabies virus.

Rabies is a disease that people and animals can catch from the bite or scratch of infected animals. It is fatal if medical care is not given promptly. If you, your child, or your pet may have come into contact with this raccoon, please call Arlington County Animal Control at 703-931-9241 immediately. After hours, please stay on the line to speak with the answering service who will alert the on-duty officer.

Residents are encouraged to:

  • Ensure pets are up to date on their rabies and distemper vaccines
  • Keep dogs on a leash at all times and keep cats inside
  • Do not approach or feed any wild animals
  • Feed pets inside
  • Remove wildlife attractants from yards, such as unsecured garbage cans, open containers of food, and compost

Arlington County Animal Control is also urging residents to remain vigilant and if they see any animal that appears sick, lethargic, disoriented, or aggressive to stay away from the animal and call Animal Control immediately: 703-931-9241. If you come across a deceased rabies vector animal (including cats, dogs, foxes, raccoons, and groundhogs) in your yard or a public space please also contact Animal Control promptly and do not handle the animal.

A raccoon tested positive for rabies this past fall. That followed a rabies outbreak earlier in the year. Earlier this year, meanwhile, several foxes tested positive for rabies.

Photo via Alan Alquist/Unsplash

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Fox in an Arlington yard (file photo)

Arlington has another fox rabies case — maybe two.

A sick fox captured by animal control along Washington Blvd, between East Falls Church and Westover, has tested positive for rabies, according to an announcement from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Another sick fox was seen on video, taken in the neighborhood surrounding Wakefield High School, but has not been located, AWLA said.

Those incidents follow AWLA’s warning last week of a potentially rabid fox in the Arlingwood neighborhood, as well as a similar warning in early February after an aggressive fox attacked pets and, reportedly, at least one person in the Gulf Branch neighborhood.

ALWA, which handles animal control for Arlington County, said that residents should remain vigilant, take precautions with pets, and contact the animal control office immediately if they see “any animal that appears sick, lethargic, disoriented, or aggressive.”

More from AWLA, below.

Confirmed rabid fox in Highland Park neighborhood: on Wednesday April 27th, 2022 in the afternoon Arlington County Animal Control received a call about a sick fox in the 6200 block of Washington Boulevard. The fox had neurological signs consistent with rabies, and was captured and removed by Animal Control after exposing a domestic pet. The fox was tested and came back clinically positive for rabies.

Additionally, Animal Control was recently provided footage of a potentially sick fox in the Claremont neighborhood. That footage was provided 4 days after the event, and therefore no fox has been located and no other sightings have occurred at this time. Rabies is a disease that people and animals can catch from the bite or scratch of infected animals. It is fatal if medical care is not given promptly. If you, your child, or your pet may have come into contact with this fox or any wild animal, please call Arlington County Animal Control at 703-931-9241 immediately, after hours please stay on the line to speak with the answering service who will alert an officer.

Residents are encouraged to:

  • Ensure pets are up to date on their rabies and distemper vaccines.
  • Keep dogs on a leash at all times and keep cats inside.
  • Check backyards before letting pets or children outside and monitor them at all times.
  • Do not approach or feed any wild animals.
  • Feed pets inside.
  • Remove wildlife attractants from yards, such as unsecured garbage cans, open containers of food, and compost.

Animal Control is also urging all residents in Arlington County to remain vigilant and if they see any animal that appears sick, lethargic, disoriented, or aggressive to stay away from the animal and call Animal Control immediately: 703-931-9241. If you come across a deceased rabies vector animal (including cats, dogs, foxes, raccoons, bats and groundhogs) in your yard or a public space please also contact Animal Control promptly and do not handle the animal.

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Fox in a backyard in 2018 (Flickr pool photo by GM and MB)

A fox with “neurological signs consistent with rabies” has been captured this morning in the Arlingwood neighborhood near Chain Bridge, officials say.

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is warning residents, particularly those in the area where the fox was found, to keep pets inside or on a leash — and to keep those pets up to date on rabies and distemper vaccines. If people or their pets potentially came into contact with the fox, they’re being encouraged to call animal control.

More from an AWLA social media post:

*Notice to Arlington Co residents* – on April 26, 2022 at approximately 7:45am, Arlington County Animal Control responded to calls about a disoriented fox in the Arlingwood neighborhood near the 4100 blocks of 41 St and Randolph Street N, south-east of Chain Bridge Rd and George Washington Pkwy. The fox had neurological signs consistent with rabies, and was captured and removed by Animal Control. Rabies is a disease that people and animals can catch from the bite or scratch of infected animals. It is fatal if medical care is not given promptly. If you, your child, or your pet may have come into contact with this fox, please call Arlington County Animal Control at (703) 931-9241 immediately.

Residents are encouraged to: ensure pets are up to date on their rabies and distemper vaccines – keep dogs on a leash at all times and keep cats inside – do not approach or feed any wild animals – feed pets inside – remove wildlife attractants from yards, such as unsecured garbage cans, open containers of food, and compost.

Arlington County Animal Control is also urging residents to remain vigilant and to stay away from any animal that appears sick, lethargic, disoriented, or aggressive and call Animal Control immediately at (703) 931-9241. If you come across a deceased rabies-vector animal (including cats, dogs, foxes, raccoons, and groundhogs) in your yard or a public space, do not handle the animal and Animal Control immediately.

In February an “aggressive” fox that bit a toddler was captured by animal control in the Gulf Branch neighborhood, which is just down Military Road from Arlingwood. That fox was also thought to be rabid.

Earlier this month a rabid fox bit nine people on Capitol Hill before it was captured and euthanized. The fox’s kits were also euthanized.

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Rain puddles in Shirlington (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

It was quite a week.

There was everything from breaking news, like the county finalizing a new jail medical provider after the latest inmate death, to helpful stories like where to stock up on Girl Scout cookies. And you all seemed particularly interested in stories about wayward poultry and an aggressive fox.

Here are the most-read Arlington articles of the past week.

  1. Rogue chicken caught sneaking around Pentagon entrance
  2. Crawfish eatery Chasin’ Tails is leaving Arlington for Falls Church
  3. Fox menaces Gulf Branch neighborhood, leading to rabies warning
  4. Another death reported at Arlington County jail
  5. Two arrested after assaults at Columbia Pike businesses over the weekend
  6. As the ranks of freelancers swell, the taxman cometh for those in Arlington
  7. Covid case counts decline to pre-Christmas levels in Arlington
  8. Arlington is phasing out EasyPark devices this month
  9. Girl Scouts bring back more in-person cookie sales, starting this week
  10. Clarendon salon launches gender-neutral pricing model

Feel free to discuss those stories or anything else of local interest in the comments. Have a great weekend and stay warm, Arlington!

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File photo of a fox in Arlington (Flickr pool photo by GM and MB)

(Updated at 10:35 p.m.) A fox terrorized a northern Arlington neighborhood today, prompting a warning about rabies from local authorities.

Police and Arlington animal control started getting calls about an aggressive fox in the Gulf Branch neighborhood this morning. It culminated in a police dispatch for a report of a three-year-old boy being bitten by the fox inside a garage on 33rd Street N., around 2:15 p.m.

The person who reported the incident chased the fox away. There’s no word on how the boy is doing now.

The fox also “had potential contact” with three pets, Arlington County says.

On Wednesday evening, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington told ARLnow that a fox had been captured.

“A fox was captured and removed at approximately 3:25pm today by 3 animal control officers, Sgt. Ballena, Deputy Murray, and Deputy Elpers,” said Jen Toussaint, AWLA’s Chief of Animal Control.

The county’s press release about the fox, from before it was captured, is below.

On Wednesday, Feb. 2, beginning at 10:45 a.m., Arlington County Animal Control and the Arlington County Police Department began received complaints regarding a fox aggressively approaching people and dogs around the 3500 block of N Utah Street and [4500 block] of 33rd Street North. The incidents are believed to involve the same fox.

The fox had potential contact with three domestic pets and bit one human unprovoked causing injury. The fox in question was exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with rabies. The suspect aggressive fox has not been located or captured at this time.

Rabies is a disease that people and animals can catch from the bite or scratch of infected animals. It is fatal if medical care is not given promptly.

Arlington County Animal Control and the Arlington County Department of Human Services are urging anyone who may have been bitten or scratched by any wild animal, including a fox, to reach out immediately. If you, your children, or your pets had any potential contact with this animal, please call Arlington County Animal Control promptly at 703-931-9241.

Residents are encouraged to:

  • Ensure pets are up to date on their rabies and distemper vaccines
  • Keep dogs on a leash at all times and keep cats inside
  • Do not approach or feed any wild animals
  • Feed pets inside
  • Remove wildlife attractants from yards, such as unsecured garbage cans, open containers of food and compost

What to look out for

Arlington County Animal Control is also urging residents to remain vigilant, and if they see a fox that appears sick, lethargic, disoriented, or aggressive to stay away from the animal and call Animal Control immediately: 703-931-9241.

The County asks that pets and children are not permitted outside unsupervised at this time.

Do not attempt to haze or make loud sounds at this animal. Back away slowly while facing the animal at all times.

If you come across a deceased rabies vector animal (including cats, dogs, foxes, raccoons, and groundhogs) in your yard or a public space, contact Animal Control promptly and do not handle the animal.

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A raccoon (via Jonnelle Yankovich/Unsplash)

There was a rabid raccoon on the loose in Arlington that came into contact with a number of dogs.

Last week, Arlington animal control responded to an incident involving multiple dogs and a raccoon at the heavily-visited Shirlington Dog Park at 2710 S. Oakland Street.

The raccoon was removed and, later, tested clinically positive for rabies — a disease that both humans and animals can get from a scratch or a bit from an infected animal.

This is not the first time in recent memory a rabid animal has threatened Arlington humans and their furry best friends. In May, a potentially rabid fox bit two people near Lacey Woods Park. In February and March, a rabies outbreak in raccoons had pet owners thinking about their own quarantine for their animals.

Animal control is asking residents to make sure their pets are up to date on their vaccines, to keep dogs on a leash and cats inside, to feed pets inside and not to approach wildlife. The department is also asking residents to remove wildlife attractants, such as compost and unsecured garbage cans, from their yards.

“If you, your child, or your pet may have come into contact with any wild animals including bats or raccoons, please call Arlington County Animal Control at 703-931-9241 immediately,” the Animal Welfare League of Arlington said in a message posted on social media. “It is fatal if medical care is not given promptly.”

“Arlington County Animal Control is also urging residents to remain vigilant and if they see any animal that appears sick, lethargic, disoriented, or aggressive to stay away from the animal and call Animal Control immediately,” AWLA said. “If you come across a deceased rabies vector animal (including cats, dogs, foxes, raccoons, and groundhogs) in your yard or a public space please do not handle the animal and contact Animal Control promptly.”

Photo via Jonnelle Yankovich/Unsplash

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An angry fox with a taste for human flesh is at large near a park popular with children.

Arlington officials say the fox bit two people — unprovoked — near Lacey Woods Park (1200 N. George Mason Drive) earlier this week and may be rabid. They’re warning residents to steer clear of any fox that “appears sick, lethargic, disoriented, or aggressive.”

Anyone who sees a fox fitting that description is asked to “call Animal Control immediately at 703-931-9241.”

The fox is not the only critter menacing the denizens of Arlington’s northern neighborhoods. There have been multiple reports of sick and potentially rabid raccoons over the past few months.

More on the latest incident, from an Arlington County press release, below.

A fox exhibiting signs of rabies has been reported near Lacey Woods Park.

Monday, May 10, between the hours of 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., Arlington County Animal Control and the Arlington County Police Department received complaints about a fox aggressively approaching people and dogs around the 1100 block of N. George Mason Drive, the 900 block of N. Frederick Street, and on the Custis Trail between N. George Mason Drive and N. Harrison Street. The incidents are believed to involve the same fox.

The fox had potential contact with two domestic pets and bit two humans unprovoked causing injury. The fox was exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with rabies. The suspect aggressive fox has not been located or captured.

Rabies is a disease that people and animals can catch from the bite or scratch of infected animals. It is fatal if medical care is not given promptly.

Arlington County Animal Control and the Arlington County Department of Human Services are urging anyone who may have been bitten or scratched by any wild animal, including a fox, to reach out immediately. If you, your children, or your pets had any potential contact with this animal, please call Arlington County Animal Control promptly at 703-931-9241.

All residents are encouraged to:

  • Ensure pets are up to date on their rabies and distemper vaccines
  • Keep dogs on a leash at all times and keep cats inside
  • Do not approach or feed any wild animals
  • Feed pets inside
  • Remove wildlife attractants, such as unsecured garbage cans, open containers of food and compost, from yards.

Arlington County Animal Control is also urging residents to remain vigilant, and if they see a fox that appears sick, lethargic, disoriented, or aggressive to stay away from the animal and call Animal Control immediately at 703-931-9241. Do not attempt to haze or make loud sounds at the animal. Back away slowly while facing the animal at all times.

The County asks that pets and children are not outside unsupervised at this time.

If you come across a deceased rabies vector animal, including cats, dogs, foxes, raccoons, or groundhogs, in your yard or a public space, contact Animal Control promptly and do not handle the animal.

Flickr pool photo by GM and MB

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One year ago today, the coronavirus changed life over the course of one momentous day. Now, Arlington dogs may face a lockdown of their own due to a new viral outbreak.

Arlington County warned this afternoon that raccoons across North Arlington are testing positive for a virus called Canine Distempter. The disease can be transmitted to dogs and other pets — and is often fatal or debilitating.

Officials learned of the outbreak due to incidents involving sick raccoons that had rabies-like symptoms over the past few months. Of the three raccoons captured by animal control, only one ended up testing positive for rabies, according to a press release. But officials continued capturing and testing raccoons due to the concerning behavior.

More from the press release:

With ongoing issues and reports Arlington County Animal Control and the Arlington County Department of Human Services arranged for broader testing of six raccoons that were removed showing neurological signs and symptoms in early March 2021. All of the raccoons tested were clinically positive for Canine Distemper.

Distemper is a viral disease that is always present in wildlife populations at varying levels. Raccoons are especially susceptible to canine distemper, as well as foxes, coyotes, skunks, and unvaccinated dogs. This virus does not affect humans. The disease is transmitted when animals have direct contact with infected animals or indirect contact with body fluids/feces from an infected animal.

We are urging residents in North Arlington to be vigilant. This outbreak is no longer contained to a specific neighborhood.

The County is asking pet owners to ensure their pets are vaccinated against both rabies and distemper. Pets should be kept inside, or on a leash when outside, officials say.

More official advice from the County is below.

Residents are asked to:

  • Ensure pets are up to date on their rabies and distemper vaccines
  • Keep dogs on a leash at all times and keep cats inside
  • Do not approach or feed any wild animals
  • Feed pets inside
  • Remove wildlife attractants from yards, such as unsecured garbage cans, open containers of food and compost

If you see a raccoon that appears sick, lethargic, disoriented, or aggressive should stay away from the animal and call Animal Control immediately at 703-931-9241. If you come across a deceased raccoon in your yard or a public space, contact Animal Control immediately.

Photo by Jonnelle Yankovich on Unsplash

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As if the pandemic wasn’t bad enough, there’s now an apparent rabies outbreak in Arlington County.

Two days after the county warned of a possible rabies exposure in the East Falls Church neighborhood, animal control has captured two additional raccoons “showing neurological signs consistent with rabies.”

The raccoons were both captured in residential north Arlington neighborhoods: one on the 4300 block of 37th Road N., in the Old Glebe neighborhood near Glebe Road Park and the Gulf Branch Nature Center, and another on the 5100 block of 37th Road N., in the Rock Spring neighborhood near Williamsburg Middle School.

“On February 4, 2021, Arlington County Animal Control responded to two separate incidents for raccoons,” the county said in a press release. “Both of the raccoons in these incidents were captured and removed by animal control; both raccoons were showing neurological signs consistent with rabies. One of these raccoons may have had contact with two pets.”

“This outbreak is no longer contained to a specific neighborhood,” the press release warned, also citing the East Falls Church incident from Jan. 30, in which a rabid raccoon came into contact with a pet.

“We are urging residents in North Arlington to be vigilant,” said Kurt Larrick, a county spokesman. “We ask that residents ensure their pets are up to date on their rabies vaccines, keep their dogs on a leash, keep cats inside, remain vigilant and alert, and do not approach or interact with any wild animals.”

Rabies, as described in the press release, “is a disease that people and animals can catch from the bite or scratch of infected animals. It is fatal if medical care is not given promptly.”

“If you, your child, or your pet may have come into contact with any wild animals including bats or raccoons, please call Arlington County Animal Control at 703-931-9241 immediately,” the press release says. “If calling after hours, please stay on the line to speak with the answering service who will alert an Officer. If you see a raccoon that appears sick, lethargic, disoriented, or aggressive, do NOT approach the animal and please call Animal Control immediately.”

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Morning Notes

Possible Rabies Exposure in EFC — “On Saturday, January 30, a raccoon was reported in the area of the 6900 block Williamsburg Boulevard… in the East Falls Church neighborhood. This animal was showing signs of neurological symptoms and was caught and removed by Animal Control after potentially having contact with a pet. The raccoon tested clinically positive for rabies.” [Arlington County]

Rouse Property Showdown Heads to County Board — “With a unanimous vote, Arlington’s Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board kicked the controversy over preservation of the Rouse estate on Wilson Boulevard up to the County Board. The action, taken Jan. 27 after the matter was fast-tracked through what ordinarily would have been a much more drawn-out process, puts the advisory body at odds with the owners of the 9-acre property, who want to raze the buildings and sell off the tract.” [InsideNova]

Pike McDonald’s Robbed by Irate Customer — “The suspect was in the drive thru line of a business and became irate over an issue with their order. The suspect then parked their vehicle and entered the business yelling and threatening the victim. She slapped items out of the victim’s hand, then pushed her out of the way and stole an undisclosed amount of cash from the register, threw food items on the floor, and damaged property, then fled in a vehicle prior to police arrival.” [ACPD]

Local Businessman Pleads Guilty to Fraud — “An Arlington businessman pleaded guilty today to making false statements to multiple federal agencies in order to fraudulently obtain multimillion-dollar government contracts, COVID-19 emergency relief loans, and undeserved military service benefits… Robert S. Stewart, Jr., 35, was the owner and president of Federal Government Experts LLC, an Arlington-based company that purported to provide various services to the U.S. government.” [U.S. Dept. of Justice]

Volunteers Working to Widen Mt. Vernon Trail — “Volunteers removed overgrown grass and mud from the trail between Memorial Bridge and TR Island in January widening the trail by more than a foot in some spots. Volunteers also fixed drainage of three areas where winter ice sheets were forming. We have multiple upcoming volunteer events through March to continue widening the trail.” [Friends of the Mt. Vernon Trail]

Super Bowl Safety Reminder — “Super Bowl LV is on Sunday, February 7, 2021, and it’s one of America’s favorite annual celebrations… The Arlington County Police Department is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to remind football fans everywhere that Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.” [ACPD]

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A potentially rabid raccoon with a taste for human flesh is on the loose in the Donaldson Run neighborhood.

The raccoon bit a person last week on the 4200 block of 25th Street N., two blocks from Taylor Elementary School, according to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. It ran off and “has not been located.”

Two other raccoons with rabies-like symptoms have been removed from the neighborhood by animal control officers over the past month, AWLA said.

Arlington residents, particularly those in the Donaldson Run area, are being encouraged to remain vigilant.

“If you or your pet may have come into contact with any wild animals including bats or raccoons, please call Arlington County Animal Control at 703-931-9241 immediately, after hours please stay on the line to speak with the answering service who will alert an officer,” the organization said last night in a statement.

“If you see a raccoon that appears sick, lethargic, disoriented, or aggressive, do NOT approach the animal and please call Animal Control immediately: 703-931-9241.”

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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