Rose Smith of North Marbletop Road picked up the kitten a few weeks ago. The 8-week-old kitten tested positive for rabies last week, according to Walker County Animal Control.
All eight people who came into contact with the kitten at Catoosa County Animal Clinic had to have rabies shots, said Dr. Scott Fisher of the clinic. Three more people who came in contact with the kitten prior to the veterinarian visit are also receiving shots.
“The kitten only bit one person at the clinic, but all eight people are getting booster shots or rabies shots,” Fisher said.
Fisher said in 50 percent of rabies cases, the animal walks around as if drugged and is not aggressive.
“I tended to the kitten while my granddaughter went to work,” Smith said. “A mother cat had babies in the woods, and something killed two kittens and wounded this one.
“I am taking shots, and so are my granddaughter and her friend,” Smith said. “The kitten did not bite me or my granddaughter, but we handled it in taking care of its wound.”
To report a suspected case of rabies, call the Walker County Animal Shelter at (706) 375-2100. If the shelter is closed, call emergency 911. Another option is to dial the rabies hotline at 1-888-RABIES4.
The kitten was euthanized and tested positive for rabies, Walker Animal Shelter secretary Rita Wiley said.
“People need to leave sick animals alone and not pick them up,” Wiley said, adding that people shouldn't “get out and catch animals.”
Lawton Massengill of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Wildlife Services program said, “Walker County is setting traps for cats right now in the North Marbletop area.
“Cats are not being inoculated as much as dogs are, and several of the 30 cases of rabies in Walker County this year involved cats,” he said. “Other cases have involved raccoons and skunks.”
In Catoosa County, two foxes tested positive for rabies, and two more foxes tested positive in Dade, he said.
Three other cases of rabies occurred last week in Walker County.
“One case involved a skunk on Glass Road in LaFayette that attacked a puppy and killed three kittens,” Patterson said. “The skunk was real aggressive.”
Wiley said the puppy was euthanized Aug. 27, and, as a preventative measure, Animal Control has been rounding up stray cats on Glass Road and putting them to sleep.
She said another case occurred on Schmidt Road when a rabid raccoon attacked a dog.
Authorities are not sure whether the raccoon transmitted rabies to the dog, so they have quarantined the dog at the animal shelter for six months, Wiley said.
The final case last week occurred on 205 Rhinehart Road, where a kitten bit a 10-year-old girl, she said. The kitten’s test was unsatisfactory, meaning the animal may have had rabies.
“I think that the girl is receiving rabies shots,” Wiley said.
If an animal that attacks someone’s dog is determined to be rabid and if the dog’s rabies vaccination is current, the owner will take the dog to the veterinarian for revaccination and home quarantine it for 45 days. However, if the dog has not had a rabies vaccine, options are to euthanize it or to quarantine it for six months at the animal shelter or for the owner to home quarantine it if the pen meets qualifications, according to Animal Control.
In cases where animals bite people, the animal is held for 10 days to determine whether it has rabies or not. The animal usually either dies or shows aggressive behavior in that time period. If it does show signs, the animal’s head is for rabies testing, Animal Control officials said