The Pennsylvania Department of Health said Tuesday that a kitten dropped off in June at a farm in York County tested positive for rabies. Anyone who may have come into contact with the feline should call the local state health center.
The kitten, a black short-haired female about 8- to 10-weeks old, was abandoned on or around June 16 at the Fisher farm on Valley Road in Etters and tested positive for rabies on June 27. Another kitten, a black and gray tiger female, was also dropped off at the same time and was examined for rabies.
The necropsy showed that the second kitten did not have rabies, said Stacy Kriedeman of the health department. She said no one knows where the cats came from or where the mother is.
“Rabies is very serious,” she said. “Any sort of exposure requires quick treatment and medical care if scratched or bitten.”
Veterinarians should remind pet owners of the importance of keeping up with vaccinations, she said, and she warned people to be careful when dealing with strays. Signs that an animal might be infected include unusual behavior, such as a cat who is walking in circles, she said.
She advises anyone who may have come in contact with these kittens, their littermates or the mother cat, to call the York County State Health Center at 717-771-4505 or the Department of Health at 877-724-3258.
Touching or handling a potentially rabid animal does not constitute exposure unless a person has been bitten or scratched. Under these circumstances, medical attention should be sought immediately, Health Department officials said.