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Swannanoa family's dogs on verge of being euthanized

A  rabid fox found in the backyard of a Swannanoa home is the reason two dogs were taken from their owner and are on the verge of being put down.  (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

A rabid fox found in the backyard of a Swannanoa home is the reason two dogs were taken from their owner and are on the verge of being put down.

Michael Haynie said his dogs, Empress and Roxy, are like his family. He rescued them from an animal shelter and feels like this time he won't be able to save them.

On October 10, 2017, Haynie let his three dogs out in the backyard. When he heard them barking, he immediately realized something was wrong.

"I though it was a coyote, so I hollered at them. I told them to come over and inside," Haynie said.

That animal was a fox that later tested positive for rabies.

Haynie said his neighbor took care of the rabid fox while he called animal control. He took his three dogs to the vet immediately after.

He said the veterinarian saw no viable bite marks or scratches. The dogs were also given a rabies booster vaccine.

According to Buncombe County, two of the dogs were unvaccinated at the time of the incident. Those two dogs were then taken by animal control.

"The vet even told us that there was no contact, and they gave them their rabies shots," Haynie said.

Buncombe County said there is no information to indicate that anyone observed the fox and the dogs from the time that the fox gained entry into their kennel. Therefore, they must assume the fox could have come in contact with the dogs.

The family has 10 days to find a shelter to quarantine the dogs for an additional 21 days. If they can't, the dogs will be placed on a list to be euthanized.

"We work at a grocery store right now, and that's not going to pay for us living here and then having to pay for another shelter for our dogs. There's no telling how much that is going to cost," Haynie said.

Haynie said he thought he was doing the right thing by contacting animal control but now fears he is being punished. The family doesn't know where to turn and are afraid their dogs will be put down without being given a chance.

"They are like my young 'uns. You're taking my kids from me. I rescued these dogs, and now they are going to die," Haynie said.

Anyone who would like to help the family can email elizabethhaynie96@gmail.com, or donate to the online fundraiser here.






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