Waynesboro Police warn of local distemper outbreak

policecar3The Waynesboro Police Department is issuing an alert from the Animal Control Officer of a distemper outbreak that has been discovered in the city’s fox population.

In late November, the Department began receiving citizen complaints of foxes exhibiting strange behavior.  Last week, the ACO received affirmation of the disease from the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study who conducted necropsies on three fox carcasses sent in by the Department.   So far 18 grey foxes have either gotten sick and died from distemper or have been euthanized by the Police Department after displaying signs of distemper.  These foxes have been found citywide including neighborhoods off North Delphine Avenue, Pelham Drive, North Charlotte Avenue, Lyndhurst Road near Coyner Springs Park and areas near the Waynesboro Town Center.

Besides foxes, other wild animals, including skunks, raccoons, bears and coyotes, can also be infected with the virus.  The virus is spread in respiratory secretions during coughing and sneezing but can also be found in vomit and urine.  This type of Viral Distemper is contagious to dogs but is most severe and common in puppies and old dogs, which can get infected if a diseased wild animal passes through a yard or areas like the dog park at Coyner Springs and leaves secretions in the form of vomit, urine, etc.  Also, dogs can get infected by simply sniffing the area where the virus is present.  However, the virus does not live long outside the diseased animal.  After minutes, or sometimes hours, of being outside the virus is no longer contagious.

The Police Department suggests the following precautions to dog owners:

  • Do not let your dog run at large even at areas where this practice is legal in the city, like the dog park at Coyner Springs.
  • Be alert for wild animals in your neighborhoods.  Animals that infected with distemper act aggressively and display odd behavior.
  • Get their pet(s) vaccinated for distemper or verify that it is current with veterinary offices.
  • If a citizen observes a wild animal that could be infected with distemper they are encouraged to call the Waynesboro Emergency Operations Center at (540) 942-6701.

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.




augusta free press
augusta free press
augusta free press news