Gwinnett County health officials warn residents to stay away from rabid cats.
Photo: For the AJC
Photo: For the AJC

Rabid cat attacks 3 in Gwinnett; county issues warning

Gwinnett County officials are warning residents to be careful around animals “behaving in unusual ways” after a rabid cat attacked people and pets in Norcross last week.

Three people and “several” pets were attacked by the cat on the 500 block of Sunset Drive. The cat has been caught and tested positive for rabies. The last known case of rabies in Gwinnett County occurred in a raccoon that was caught in Lawrenceville in March.

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Pet owners are encouraged to keep their pets vaccinated against rabies. If an unvaccinated animal is exposed to the disease, it must be euthanized immediately or quarantined for six months and vaccinated a month before being released.

Humans can be infected with rabies from a bite or scratch from a rabid animal. If someone is scratched or bitten by a stray or unfamiliar animal, the wound should be immediately cleaned and medical attention should be sought.

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Anyone who suspects they may have found or been hurt by a rabid animal should call the Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement Bite Office at 770-339-3200 ext. 5576, or the after-hours non-emergency dispatch at 770-513-5700.

The Animal Welfare and Enforcement department is also offering free rabies vaccines for pets on Saturday, June 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Best Friend Park, 6224 Jimmy Carter Blvd., Norcross. Other pet vaccines will be available at low costs from Animal Welfare and Enforcement, Planned Pethood, Animal Alliance of Georgia and Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation

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