Free Kittens Given Away Outside a Walmart Turn Out to Be Rabid
We’re often warned about the perils of adopting free kittens, but I’ve never heard a free-kitten horror story like this one.
This summer, a well-intentioned woman took a pregnant stray cat in off the streets and provided her with a safe place to give birth to her litter. When the kittens were weaned, she decided to find homes for them by going to her local Walmart in search of prospective adopters.
One of the people shopping at the McDonough, GA, superstore that day, a man who wanted to remain anonymous, adopted one of the kittens and took it home to his family. After a week, the kitten got sick and the man took it to a veterinary clinic, where the vet apparently recognized that something was very wrong and told him the cat wouldn’t live more than 10 days. The kitten was euthanized and tested for rabies. The test came back positive.
This news set off a countywide search for the other three kittens and the mother cat. The woman who gave away the kittens heard the news about the rabies scare and brought the mother cat in to be tested. A woman who had adopted one of the other kittens also brought it in. But two of the kittens are still unaccounted for.
Henry County animal control spokesman Vince Farah said it’s crucial that anyone who handled or adopted the kittens come forward, because rabies is contagious to humans.
There’s a 99 percent chance that every kitten in the litter has rabies, Farah said.
Test results on the mother and kitten were scheduled to come back Thursday, Sept. 27; when I hear more, I’ll share that information in an update.
Meanwhile, if you live in Henry County, GA, and you handled any of these kittens that were given away on Sept. 9, please let authorities know. And if you know anything about the other two kittens -- they’re solid gray and went by the names Maggie and Sweet Pea -- contact Henry County Animal Care and Control at (770) 288-7387 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution