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Dahlgren cat tests positive for rabies

King George sent out an alert message to citizens on Wednesday, Aug. 17, to be on the lookout for rabid animals.

King George Animal Control officers were called to a townhouse area on Creek Lane near Williams Creek on Dahlgren Road on Saturday, Aug. 13.

A cat was attacking another cat, behaving erratically, and chasing people.

According to Animal Control Officer Kevin Ehler, a resident of the townhouse community killed the cat that subsequently tested positive for rabies at the county health department.

The rabid cat bit a woman who lives in the complex the afternoon of Aug. 12. According to Ehler, she was advised by his officers to seek medical treatment.

“She is now receiving rabies shots,” Ehler said.

Two traps were set to try to capture the other cat involved in the skirmish, but as of Friday afternoon the cat was avoiding both cages.

Ehler said this is the only confirmed case of rabies in the county this year.

Dogs and cats are required by law to be vaccinated against rabies and according to the Animal Control officer it is important to keep pets up to date.

“The best way to protect your dog or cat against rabies is to ensure your pet has a current vaccination,” Ehler said.

King George Animal Control will hold a rabies vaccination clinic at the county pound on Saturday, Sept. 17.

Since the case of rabies was confirmed the Animal Control office has advised residents to be extra vigilant for any animal behaving erratically.

Specific signs to watch for would be aggression, slobbering, chasing things, or walking in circles.

“If an animal has rabies, it doesn’t care who it attacks,” Ehler said. “And it can attack people as well as other animals.”

Residents are advised not to make contact with any animal exhibiting the symptoms listed above and to immediately call Animal Control at (540) 775-2120 or (540) 775-2049.

— Marty van Duyne

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