Rabies is a disease caused by the rabies virus. It may take several weeks or even a few years for people to show symptoms after getting infected with rabies, but usually people start to show signs of the disease 1 to 3 months after the virus infects them. The early signs of rabies can be fever or headache, but this changes quickly to nervous system signs, such as confusion, sleepiness, or agitation. Once someone with rabies infection starts having these symptoms, that person usually does not survive. This is why it is very important to talk to your doctor or health care provider right away if any animal bites you, especially a wild animal (from the Centers for Disease Control).


  • All dogs, cats, and ferrets are required by Iredell County Ordinance to be vaccinated against rabies starting at the age of 3 months.
  • If a rabies vaccinated animal is exposed to a rabid animal, the vaccinated animal must receive a booster vaccination within 96 hours of the initial exposure, even if you have documented proof of rabies vaccine. Failure to obtain the booster vaccination within 96 hours can result in the exposed animal being quarantined for 4 months (ferrets for 6 months) or euthanized at the owner’s expense.
  • Do not handle wildlife.  Rabies virus can still be active even if the animal is dead.

Rabies Vaccinations and Boosters

To learn more about Rabies Vaccinations and Boosters available in Iredell County, please visit the Iredell County Animal Services and Control Rabies Vaccination Webpage.

For more information on rabies vaccinations or to report a stray animal, call Iredell County Animal Services and Control at 704-878-5424

Map of Confirmed Rabies Cases in Iredell County

This map shows confirmed cases of rabies.  “Rabies Alert” with the red star on the map indicates that there has been a recent confirmed rabies case near that location.  This should prompt those living and visiting the area to be cautious of unusual animal activity and protect your pets.

Educational Materials 

Rabies Eng 1

Rabies Eng 2

Rabies Span 1

Rabies Span 2

Additional Resources