Animal Control Authorities in Henry County, Georgia, are trying to quickly locate anyone who adopted, or who had contact with any of six kittens that were given away by two women in the parking lot at the Walmart in McDonough last month. A man, who asked not to be identified, accepted an orange striped tabby from the women on the weekend of August 25, 2012, and brought the animal home to his family. He later told authorities that within days the animal started acting sickly. When he took the pet to be examined by a veterinarian, the doctor told him that the animal was rabid. It was so sick in fact that it was euthanized. According to state law, the man’s wife, who had been scratched by the animal, was quarantined for 10 days.
Authorities believe that all of the kittens are rabid, and that anyone who came into contact with the kittens has been exposed to rabies. Untreated rabies leads to death in animals and humans, usually ten to 12 days after the onset of symptoms.
Symptoms of rabies in cats can include fearfulness, aggression, excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing, staggering, seizures, self-mutilation, and increased sensitivity to light. In humans symptoms include paralysis, anxiety, insomnia, confusion, agitation, abnormal behavior, paranoia, terror, hallucinations, delirium, and fear of water. Treatment for rabies involves lots of shots.
Anyone with knowledge of the kittens or the women is asked to call the Henry County Animal Care and Control at 770-288-7387 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.