New Hampshire mother held down rabid fox that bit her 4-year-old child, police say

HOLLIS, N.H. — A New Hampshire mother physically held a rabid fox down until emergency crews responded after the animal bit her 4-year-old child, police said.

At approximately 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, emergency crews responded to a Truell Road home for a report of a 4-year-old bitten by a fox.

The mother’s subsequent actions “prevented further injury to the child or bystanders,” police said.

“Heroic is an understatement. We would never encourage people to handle wildlife but given the circumstances, protective mom mode kicked in,” said Chief Brendan LaFlamme.

The mother held down the fox until police arrived.

“She did probably what any parent would do to protect their child,” said LaFlamme.

When officers arrived, they took control of the fox, which was then euthanized. Tests later revealed that the fox had rabies, police said.

Rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can be spread to people and pets through the bites and scratches of an infected animal. Rabies primarily affects the central nervous system, leading to severe brain disease and death if medical care is not received before symptoms start.

“The mother and child both received prompt medical treatment and are expected to be okay,” police said.

Police “have received multiple calls from the public” regarding the incident, with some people criticizing the actions of Hollis officers who euthanized the fox, Hollis Police Chief Brendan LaFlamme said in a statement.

LaFlamme defended the actions of his officers, for public safety reasons.

“As Chief of Police, I stand behind the officers’ actions,” LaFlamme said. “They acted quickly and professionally to make the scene safe so that the injured four-year-old could get the treatment that she needed. Their actions prevented any further injury to people and animals, slowed the spread of this disease, and ended the animal’s suffering.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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