Local/State

Officials: Pair bitten by rabid stray cat

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Two people are undergoing treatment for rabies exposure after a stray cat bit them on Sunday.

One of the victims killed the cat near the 600 block of Carver Falls Road following the incident. The animal was then picked up by Animal Control and sent to the state lab.

Click here for a map of the area

The State Public Health Lab confirmed Wednesday that the cat did have rabies.

There have now been four cases of rabies in the county since January 1.

Officials say the first sign of rabies in animals is a change in behavior. Animals may become aggressive attacking for no reason or they may become very quiet.

Wild animals can lose their fear of people and act tame. Rabid animals may walk in a circle, drag a leg, or fall over. Some cannot swallow so they are not able to eat or drink and often drool.

Contact Animal Control at (910) 321-6852 or the sheriff's office at (910) 323-1500 if you encounter a suspected rabid animal.

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, officials say you should immediately wash the wound under running water for at least 10 minutes with lots of soap and seek medical attention.

It is also important to vaccinate your pets for rabies and keep their shots current.

Pet owners are reminded that all dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies, as required by state law. Pet owners are subject to a fine of $100 for each unvaccinated dog or cat.

If pets are not vaccinated or are due for a booster shot, they should be taken to a local veterinarian for rabies vaccination immediately.

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cumberland county, rabies, local/state
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