Rabid raccoon attacks cat on Roane Point Road

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Feb 09, 2011 - 04:47 PM

A rabid raccoon attacked a cat on Roane Point Road in Cobbs Creek Friday afternoon, and the Mathews County Health Department is asking that residents notify them if they have been scratched or bitten by the cat or by any other animal in the neighborhood. Health officials are also encouraging residents to make sure their pets’ rabies vaccinations are up to date.

The cat was a black male, with white on his left flank and chest, said environmental health specialist Tammy Faulkner.

Animal control officer Ralph Horn said a Roane Point Road resident who lives near the road’s intersection with Route 198 saw the raccoon attack the cat. The man knocked the raccoon unconscious with a broomstick, said Horn, and the animal subsequently died. Its remains were tested, and rabies was confirmed on Saturday.

The cat ran away, said Horn, but animal control caught it in a live trap on Tuesday. Neighbors were familiar with the cat, he said, but none of them owned it, and it behaved like a feral cat when it was caught. Since it seemed clear that the cat had never been immunized against rabies, chances of its catching the disease were 100 percent, said Horn, so it required euthanization.

"It’s the end of a sad story for the cat," he said.