Victim of fox attack undergoing rabies shots: ‘The pain is more than you could ever imagine’

Posted at 6:56 PM, Sep 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-23 18:56:23-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - For Cathy Higginbotham, returning to the West Neck community where she works isn't easy after what happened to her Friday night.

"My heart races just coming in here," she told NewsChannel 3.

It was around 7:40 p.m.  She had just finished cleaning one of the condos on Crescent Moon Ct. when a fox jumped out from underneath her truck and bit her foot.

"All I was doing was opening it [the truck] up and putting my vacuum in. I pulled my foot out and I was shaking it like this and it was hanging off."

Even after getting it off her foot, it chased after her until she was able to escape into the condo where she'd been working.

From there, the fox attacked two other people.  On nearby Majestic Oak Ct. it bit a woman in her garage.  The next morning it bit someone outside on Elegance Lane.

That's also where Maxine Tate's dog was bitten.  It attacked her dog Brandy while it was her backyard.

Her paw was swollen and bloody at the time and she's still limping trying to get around.

"It has been a very scary weekend, it really has," said Tate.

According to an animal control supervisor, the fox was not provoked in any of the attacks.  Though they can't say positively that the animal had rabies without testing it, they say because of its aggressive behavior, it was likely sick.

That means the people who were bitten are now going through a process even more painful than the initial bite - getting post-exposure shots.

"The pain is more than you could ever imagine.  I had four kids, natural childbirth, and I did not scream.  That made me scream," said Higginbotham.

Though it's possible the fox has died by now, she says she's worried it could have infected other animals.

She's warning everyone in the community to be on alert, so they don't have to endure what she did.