Rabid cat found in Watauga
by Staff Reports
The department received a report of three females in a Ford F-150 truck, either green and tan or brown and tan, who left a thin, striped, black-and-brown cat at the Kangaroo gas station on State Farm Road around 4:30 p.m. July 12.
The cat was later taken to the Watauga Humane Society and tested positive for rabies.
It is critical that the three individuals, and anyone else who may have come in contact with this animal between June 29 and July 15 contact the Watauga County Health Department immediately at (828) 264-4995 immediately for a rabies risk assessment.
A kitten and a skunk also tested positive for rabies earlier this summer in Watauga County.
Animals infected with the rabies virus are either uncharacteristically vicious or appear to be in a daze or stupor. Some may experience partial paralysis and drag their back legs. Foaming at the mouth only occurs in the final stages of the virus.
Humans who come into contact with rabid animals must be immunized promptly. If left untreated in humans, rabies can lead to coma and death.
If you determine there is a stray animal in your area, contact your animal control office for further guidance.
It is best to be cautious and avoid direct contact with stray animals. Even when a pet may look healthy, the risk of rabies may still exist. It is also advised to spay and neuter your pets and keep their rabies vaccinations up to date.