Florida. Warwick Valley Humane Society captures rabid cat

| 16 Sep 2020 | 10:41

Village of Florida residents were cautioned that a rabid cat had been caught in the vicinity of Hunt Drive and Panel Lane.

The Warwick Valley Humane Society recently received a call from a resident in Florida asking for help.

The older person had been bitten by a stray cat that he said could not be trapped.

He reported that the cat appeared injured as its back legs were weak and wobbly. The man already had two outdoor neutered cats that he cares for and this stray cat had been coming around for a few days. When he tried to feed him, it bit his thumb. Then the cat already headed into the woods.

Warwick Animal Control Officer Joany Schmick headed to the residence. She was able to net him and to get him safely into the carrier. The cat was subsequently euthanized.

Since it was a stray cat, the Warwick Valley Humane Society arranged for the Health Department to cover the cost of the testing. The victim also agreed to transport the specimen to the Orange County Health Department in Goshen.

The cat tested positive for rabies and now the Florida resident has to undergo post exposure rabies vaccinations.

“Our organization,” said Suzyn Barron, president of the Warwick Valley Humane Society, “is contracted with the Towns of Chester and Warwick for Animal Control which technically is for the control of dogs only. We receive no funding for cats. Yet, the public expects us to respond to stray cat issues all of the time. As a humane society we do respond to sick, injured and orphaned animals. However, when asked for help, it is just that and not something we are contracted to do. Therefore, donations are greatly appreciated.”

The Orange County Health Department is now advising the bitten person to have his two outdoor cats vaccinated against rabies and to put them on a modified quarantine since they are outdoor semi-feral cats, meaning that they should be monitored for any different behavior such as drooling, lameness, lack of appetite and so forth for the next six months.

- Roger Gavan