Henry County authorities are scrambling to locate anybody who has had contact with six kittens given away by two women in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in McDonough. All of the kittens are believed to be rabid.
The Henry County Animal Care and Control Department needs to find out who gave away the kittens and who has them now, spokesman Vince Farah told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
On Aug. 25, a Saturday, a man who wanted to remain anonymous accepted one of the kittens — an orange tabby — and took it home to his family, Farah said. The other kittens were orange and white.
After a week, the kitten started to act sickly, prompting the new owner to take it to Southern Crescent Veterinary Clinic in Fayetteville. During the first week in its new home, the kitten had scratched the man’s wife, which prompted under Georgia law a 10-day quarantine and a bite report to the animal control office, Farah said.
The vet at the clinic reported that the kitten was lethargic and wouldn’t live 10 days. The kitten was then euthanized. Tests done on the animal came back positive for rabies on Sept. 19, Farah said.
Farah said it’s imperative that anyone who came in contact with the kittens, including the two women who gave them away, anyone who accepted them, or anyone who handled them at the Wal-Mart parking lot come forward because they could have been scratched or bitten, Farah said. The odds are 99 percent that every one of the kittens in the litter had rabies, he said.
Rabies is a deadly virus if gone untreated, Farah said. He said Wal-Mart is helping locate the kitten handlers.
Anyone with knowledge of the kittens is asked to call the Henry County Animal Care and Control at 770-288-7387 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.