Fourth rabid animal warning issued in Galax since Jan. 21 after rabid cat attacks tethered dog

New River Valley News

GALAX, Va. (WFXR) — City officials issued a rabies warning early Tuesday morning after the fourth rabid animal — this time, a cat — was discovered in West Galax in less than two months.

The City of Galax shared a warning from the Mount Rogers Health District on Tuesday, March 16 saying a semi-feral gray cat with neurological symptoms crawled onto a resident’s porch in the 100 block of Petty Road on Thursday, March 11.

Officials described the cat as an “intact” male cat with short gray fur and yellow eyes, saying it became aggressive when approached.

In addition, the cat — which has since tested positive for rabies — reportedly attacked a tethered dog and shared a living environment with two other outdoor cats.

According to the warning, the other two cats — described as a black and white shorthair and a black and brown tabby shorthair — are still at large and should be considered exposed to rabies.

This news comes after the health district reported a rabid gray fox attacking an animal control officer in the 900 block of West Stuart Drive on Jan. 27, rabid raccoon fighting with two dogs on Russell Lane in southeast Galax on Feb. 1, and a rabid raccoon being discovered in a resident’s yard between Petty Road and Hampton Heights on Feb. 15.

If you know of any person or mammal pets that may have come in recent contact with a raccoon in this area of Galax, you are asked to contact the Galax City Health Department at (276) 236-6127 or the Galax Police Department at (276) 236-8101.

You are also asked to make sure your pets’ and livestock’s rabies vaccinations are up to date.

“Remember, rabies is fatal once the symptoms appear,” stated a flyer shared by Galax city officials from the Mount Rogers Health District. “All mammals (including humans) can get rabies. Rabies is most commonly transmitted by a bite, but also may be transmitted by saliva or brain tissue of a rabid animal coming into contact with eyes, mucous membranes, or open wounds.”

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