Cat found positive for rabies; alert for area residents


For Immediate Release
Health Department Logo

Cat found positive for rabies; alert for area residents

Westminster, MD (November 5, 2019) – According to the Carroll County Health Department, a kitten found on Bachman Valley Road near Eckard Road tested positive for the rabies virus. The kitten was a gray, short-haired tiger cat. It was found late at night on October 29th and taken to the Humane Society the following morning. 

The kitten was very ill and lethargic so did not bite anyone. However, the person who found and handled the kitten was exposed to its saliva, so will receive post-exposure treatment. Several staff from the Humane Society will have risk assessments for non-bite exposure to saliva, to see if they need to undergo treatment.

“Rabies exposure occurs through bites and scratches or saliva from the animal getting into a person’s eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound,” said Joe Mancuso, Rabies Program Manager at the Health Department. “We do a thorough risk assessment with every person who was potentially exposed to rabies through interactions with wild or stray animals.”

Anyone who may have been exposed to bites, scratches, or saliva from this cat can call the Health Department at 410-876-1884 for more information and a risk assessment. If your pet may have interacted with this cat, you may also call for a risk assessment.

Rabies in feral (wild) cats is not uncommon in Maryland. Rabies is also common in raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats. “Observe wildlife and animals you don’t know from a distance, and keep your pets vaccinated,” advised Mancuso. “If you see a sick or wounded animal, or one that is acting strangely, call Animal Control.”

To keep yourself, your family, and your pets safe from rabies:

  • ​Do not approach, handle, or feed wild or stray animals.
  • Have your dogs, cats, and ferrets vaccinated against rabies and keep their vaccinations up-to-date. The Health Department’s next low-cost rabies vaccination clinic will be on April 5th, 2020, from 2-4 pm at the Ag Center in Westminster.
  • Do not leave pets outside unattended or allow them to roam free.
  • Cover garbage cans tightly and do not leave pet food outside.
  • Teach children to stay away from wild animals and any animals that they do not know.
  • Prevent bats from entering your home by using window screens and chimney caps. Bats found in the home should be safely collected, if possible, and tested for rabies.
  • If you encounter a wild or stray animal that is sick, injured, or acting strangely, call Animal Control (410-848-4810). If you must move the animal, use gloves or an implement – do not handle any strange animal directly.
  • If you or your pet have been bitten or scratched by a wild or stray animal, wash the area with soap and water for several minutes. Keep your pet away from other people and pets. Then call your physician or veterinarian and contact the Health Department (410-876-1884).

For more information:

The Carroll County Health Department’s website can be found at and you can follow them on Facebook.

Contact: Joe Mancuso,