Fox who bit Winnsboro man tests positive for rabies

WINNBORO – A fox that attacked a man in Winnsboro and later lunged at police officers has tested positive for rabies, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. The fox was found between Drayton Street and Fairfield Street.

Retired Administrative Law Judge John D. McLeod reported to The Voice that he was attacked by a grey fox on North Congress St. in Winnsboro about 6:15 a.m., on Tuesday, July 14. 

McLeod, who lives on Evans Street, reported that he was just beginning his morning walk when he was attacked from behind by the fox.

“Just as I passed the driveway of one of the houses on N. Congress Street, the fox bit the heel of the shoe on my right foot. I never saw him until he bit me. The attack threw me off balance, and I fell on the ground,” McLeod said.

“I was trying to get free from the fox’s bite, kicking at him and struggling to get away when a passerby in a pickup truck saw what was happening and came to my aid,” McLeod said. “That scared the fox and he ran off back into the yard where he had come from.”

Mcleod said someone called the Winnsboro Department of Public Safety (WDPS). He said that after an initial examination of his foot on the scene by emergency medical personnel, it appeared there was no wound. However, after Mcleod returned home, he was concerned and went to the Fairfield Providence emergency room. 

“They found a small puncture on my right ankle,” Mcleod said, “so I’ve had to start the series of rabies vaccine as a precaution.” 

Later on Tuesday, after the fox was again sited in the same yard, WDPS officers returned to the yard, according to officers.  A report from WDPS stated that the officers found the fox and that it charged twice at officers. After it was shot once, it came at an officer again. It was killed with a second shot, according to the incident report.

The fox was taken to the Fairfield County Animal Shelter and submitted to DHEC’s lab for testing. A necropsy was performed and it was announced on July 15 that the Fox was rabid.

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