On Aug. 20, a Virginia Beach resident witnessed a cat attack a child and an adult on Pipers Crescent Road in the Friendship Village area. Animal Control collected the gray-and-white adult cat, which later tested positive for rabies. The Virginia Beach Health Department has notified those who were exposed, and the victims are undergoing treatment.
If you or your pets have had any unreported exposure, such as a bite, scratch or contact to saliva to a stray cat of this description, or any stray cat or wild animals, in this area within the past few weeks, contact the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health immediately or go to the nearest hospital emergency department. This is the 10th rabid animal identified in Virginia Beach this year.
The Health Department strongly advises that Virginia Beach residents and visitors take the following steps to prevent families and pets from being exposed to rabies:
1. ELIMINATE OUTDOOR FOOD SOURCES AROUND THE HOME:
A. Do not feed stray dogs or cats, or any wild animal.
B. Garbage containers should be securely sealed with lids.
C. After feeding pets, bring leftover food inside or dispose of it properly.
D. Bird food should be placed in a bird feeder inaccessible to wild animals.
E. Food stored in outbuildings (barns, open garages) should be inaccessible to animals.
2. AVOID CONTACT BETWEEN YOURSELF (OR YOUR PETS) AND WILD ANIMALS OR STRAY DOGS AND CATS.
A. Report any stray animal to the Virginia Beach Bureau of Animal Control (385-5000) and avoid contact with this animal. If contact occurs between any wild animal and you or your pet, contact the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health at 518-2646. It is imperative that you receive medical treatment as soon as possible. Call your veterinarian to examine your pet for wounds and administer a booster rabies shot.
B. Trapping and removal of raccoons is not recommended, but may be necessary for sick or injured animals.
C. Keep dogs and cats confined to your property. Animals that are allowed to roam are more prone to come in contact with wild animals, such as raccoons and foxes.
3. VACCINATE ALL PETS AGAINST RABIES. IT’S THE LAW!
# # #