A feral cat found on Gravel Drive near Snydersburg Road in the Hampstead-Manchester area has tested positive for the rabies virus, according to the Carroll County Health Department.
The cat was a black domestic short-haired cat that was small and stocky. It was picked up on Feb. 26 by Animal Control after someone reported a cat that was acting strangely.
Because neighbors reported that several people feed stray cats in the area, the Health Department is concerned that someone may have been exposed to the rabies virus.
“Rabies exposure occurs through bites and scratches or saliva from the infected animal getting into a person’s eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound,” said Joe Mancuso, Rabies Program Manager at the Health Department. “
Anyone who may have been exposed to bites, scratches, or saliva from a black, short-haired cat in this area can call the Health Department at 410-876-1884 for more information and a risk assessment. If your pet may have interacted with this cat, you may also call for a risk assessment.
Rabies in feral (wild) cats is not uncommon in Maryland. Rabies is also common in raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats.
“Observe wildlife and animals you don’t know from a distance, and keep your pets vaccinated,” advised Mancuso. “If you see a sick or wounded animal, or one that is acting strangely, call Animal Control at 410-848-4810.”
The Health Department’s next rabies vaccination clinic will be on April 5 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Carroll County Agriculture Center in Westminster.