East Greenwich police warned residents they should stay indoors and bring their pets inside because an apparently rabid fox is on the loose.
Police told NBC 10 there were at least three attacks on people by an aggressive fox since Thursday near the Frenchtown, High Hawk and Tillinghast Road neighborhoods. Frenchtown Park has been closed.
Residents were told to use caution when going outdoors and to monitor the activities of children while waiting for buses and walking to school. Caution is also suggested when letting pets outside.
Dr. Scott Marshall, the state veterinarian, said rabid animals will act abnormally.
"Typically, these animals are very elusive. If they see you, they're going to get scared and run away," Marshall said.
But because of rabies, Marshall said animals will be extra aggressive and may try to attack.
Marshall also said homeowners should cover garbage and not leave pet food outside. Most importantly, he said, get pets vaccinated for rabies.
"Your vaccinated pet provides a safe buffer between you and the wildlife it might encounter so that it's not going to contract rabies and give you rabies from handling your pet," Marshall said.
Police said no one should approach the fox if they see it.
"Be careful, be cautious with this animal. It's not something you want to deal with alone," said East Greenwich police Lt. Brian Clement.
Anyone who sees the animal should call the East Greenwich Police Department at 401-884-2244.