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Shots follow contact with rabid cat

July 11, 1997

NEEDMORE, Pa. - A rabid stray cat wandered into the yard of a Belfast Township family last week and came into contact with four children, all of whom are undergoing rabies shots, veterinarian A. "Lisa" Doherty said Thursday.

One of the boys was scratched by the animal, Doherty said.

The animal was shot by Gene Bradshaw, grandfather of the boy who was scratched, Doherty said.

The animal's head was sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture laboratory. The lab confirmed that the cat was rabid, Doherty said.

Besides the grandson, authorities fear three neighbor children may have had indirect contact with the cat.

Doherty said Bradshaw's wife first noticed the cat under a hedge in the family yard. The cat began to growl fiercely when she approached. She called her husband to investigate and he shot it, Doherty said.

Doherty issued a warning to all county residents to beware of any animal that acts strange. "People don't know how prevalent rabies are around here," she said.

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She said Fulton County reports four to eight cases of rabies in animals a year. "And those are just the documented cases," she said.

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