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Officials share the latest on the feral cat caught in Lynchburg

Lynchburg's Game Warden shares how you can prevent the spread of rabies in our area (WSET).

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Authorities are making sure animals in our area don't have rabies.

That's after a feral cat recently tested positive for the dangerous disease.

Police say the cat attacked a man, a dog, and a puppy on Langhorne Road on Friday.

Authorities are checking both feral animals and family pets that could be infected because of communal feeding.

This is the first rabid animal case Ryan Ball has seen in over a year as Chief Animal Warden.

He said a man called Friday, and said a feral cat attacked him, unprovoked.

Ball said the first thing to do is get in touch with the health department and get treated, if you are ever in this situation.

"The quicker you get the post exposure rabies shots, the better," Ball said.

Not sure what to look for?

Ball said to look for abnormalities in animals you come across.

"They are going to show signs of aggression, or they look dazed and confused," he said.

He could not comment on if there was a specific cat colony they were looking into, but said there are a few colonies in the area.

"You'll have these cat colonies that feral cats are fighting over food sources," Ball said.

That's why he recommends the TNR program., which stands for trap, neuter and return.

"If you're feeding cats, feeding them is great, but you have to take that extra step, and go ahead and get them fixed with a rabies vaccine," Makena Yarbough, the Executive Director of the Lynchburg Humane Society, said.

For $25 a feral cat can get spayed or neutered and get their rabies vaccination.

Ball said he does plan to release for information on the case later in the week.

If you see a suspicious animal, call 911 immediately.


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