Stafford County Sheriff's Office
DATE: April 2, 2013
RABID CAT REPORTED
Stafford, Va. The Stafford County Sheriff's Office is reporting that a cat with rabies has been confirmed in the North Stafford area of Stafford County.
On Sunday, March 24, 2013 a citizen contacted the Stafford County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Office and informed the office that she and a friend had been scratched by a stray cat that they were trying to capture. This incident occurred in the area of the 100 block of Eustace Road and Northampton Blvd. The cat was picked up by an Animal Control Officer and held at the Stafford Animal Shelter for a 10 day rabies observation confinement as required by sate law.
After several days at the shelter the health department was notified that the cat was exhibiting symptoms of an unknown illness which were getting more significant. Due to the deteriorating condition of the cat the animal was euthanized by shelter staff and sent to the state lab for rabies testing which resulted in a positive finding for rabies.
The women who found the rabid cat advise that they feed several other cats in the area where the rabid cat was found. Animal Control Officers will be attempting the trap the 6 stray cats that have been seen in the same area due to the possible exposure of these cats to the rabid cat and the need to prevent the further spread of the rabies virus. Animal Control Officers will be targeting the 6 specific stray cats but citizens need to be aware that if other cats are captured in the traps they will be taken to the animal shelter.
Citizens are reminded to not approach or try to catch stray or wild animals. This message should be shared with children especially during this spring break week from school.
Animal owners should always maintain the appropriate vaccinations for their animals and, if possible, keep animals confined to the premises to avoid the threat of rabies.