Cat tests positive for rabies in Franklin Township
A cat in Franklin Township has tested positive for rabies.
Carbon County Friends of Animals shared the message on its Facebook page late Thursday evening.
According to the post, the cat tested positive for rabies on Wednesday near the Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company.
Dana Dunbar, shelter manager, Carbon County Friends of Animals, said they weren’t aware of the situation until a woman shared it with them.
Dunbar stressed that “people just need to be aware. Hopefully nobody was hurt.
“For some reason, rabies on cats have been on a high,” Dunbar said. “If you see stray cats, the best thing would be to get them spayed and neutered and they receive a rabies vaccine, which will also prevent them from coming into contact with the rabies virus. It will protect them.”
Dunbar added, “Unfortunately, rabies is deadly in animals.
“The big thing is people that have indoor/outdoor cats, be mindful; make sure they receive vaccines, and just limit their time to outdoors,” she said. “If you keep your cats indoors, the chances of them picking up or spreading is limited.”
Dunbar said rabies is becoming more common.
“It seems like more and more cats are picking up rabies,” she said. “We’ve been seeing a lot more cases in the last few years.”
The post cautions people not to panic, but to please be aware of any erratic behavior of animals near the location and report to the local police department, the Department of Agriculture or Department of Health.
The post also states that rabies is fatal, and that there is no treatment.
Shannon Powers, secretary for the PA Dept. of Agriculture, said that feral cats are one of the most common animals that test positive for rabies.
Powers said that if you believe your domestic animals have been exposed to rabies, report it to the department.
She said the animal would need to be put under quarantine and observed until the animal who exposed them is cleared.
In the event of human exposure, Powers said you would need to contact your physician and began post-exposure treatment.
“Prevention is keeping your animals away from a potential rabies carrying wildlife,” she said, adding that there’s a vaccination that’s very effective and required by law for dogs three months and older, and domestic cats. “That is a legal responsibility of owning a dog or a cat.”
Powers said other keys are keeping pets indoors out of contact with wildlife, and that spaying and neutering pets reduces the numbers of unwanted pets that are out there roaming around unvaccinated.
Fore more information, visit agriculture.pa.gov.