The following advisory was provided by the RI Department of Health.
A kitten from Jamestown has reportedly tested positive for rabies, according to the Rhode Island Department of Health.
The kitten, which passed away, was adopted by a Jamestown resident in August. The kitten was found in the Highland Drive and Ft. Wetherill State Park area.
According to the Department of Health, the feline was part of a colony of feral cats. It's unknown whether or not the other cats in this colony are exhibiting signs of rabies, but health officials are assuming that the entire colony may have been exposed to rabies and is therefore potentially infected.
According to RI State Veterinarian Scott Marshall, this particular rabies case is of concern because the kitten came from an area in which other non-vaccinated animals and people may have been exposed. Those people may not be aware that they or their animals have been exposed to rabies.
All dogs, cats and ferrets are required by State law to have current vaccination against rabies. Vaccination of pet animals prevents them from contracting rabies, and prevents people from becoming exposed to rabies from their pets. HEALTH and DEM make the following recommendations:
- Make sure dogs, cats and ferrets are properly vaccinated against rabies. It is the law.
- Avoid all contact with stray, wild or free-roaming domestic animals.
- Call HEALTH if you have had any contact with a stray, wild or free-roaming domestic animal.
- Call your local animal control officer if an animal you own has had contact with a stray, wild or free-roaming domestic animal.
- Secure all trash so that animals will not be attracted to it.
- Do not feed animals outdoors, as this will attract other animals. This is especially dangerous when feeding large numbers of free-roaming cats.
- Do not leave pets outdoors loose or unattended.
Anyone who may have had contact with feral cats in this area should contact HEALTH for evaluation of their risk at 222-2577 weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.