BOSTON – December 15, 2022– On Monday, December 12, 2022 at approximately 3:20pm, Boston Animal Care and Control Division responded to a call from a concerned resident who reported that there was a sick cat located in the front of 132 Glenway St., in Dorchester. The stray cat, an unneutered male orange and white Domestic Shorthair, was exhibiting neurologic behavior. The cat was impounded by a Boston Animal Control officer and transported to Angell Animal Hospital for evaluation. The cat was later confirmed rabies positive by the State Rabies Lab.
Rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease. It can spread to people and pets if bitten or scratched by a rabid animal. It is also possible, but rare, for people to get rabies from non-bite exposures, which can include scratches, abrasions, or open wounds that are exposed to saliva or other potentially infectious material from a rabid animal. Rabies in humans is preventable through prompt appropriate medical care and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
We ask that anyone who recognizes this cat to please contact our office. If you see a wild or unknown domestic animal that appears to be sick, injured, or behaving oddly, please call Boston Animal Care and Control at: 617-635-5348, or call 311. Pet owners are reminded that household pets should always be supervised when outdoors to minimize the risks to their safety, including exposure to urban wildlife which may carry disease.
We also urge that if you have been in contact with a cat matching this description in the past 21 days or after the Thanksgiving holiday, especially if you’ve been bitten or scratched, please call the Boston Public Health Commission’s Infectious Disease Bureau at 617-534-5611 and your healthcare provider as soon as possible to report the exposure and obtain treatment if deemed appropriate. Rabies is a medical urgency. Decisions should not be delayed.
In the US, medical treatment or PEP consists of a regimen of one dose of immune globulin and four doses of rabies vaccine over a 14-day period. Rabies immune globulin and the first dose of rabies vaccine should be given by your health care provider as soon as possible after exposure.
In order to help prevent the spread of rabies, it is important to keep pets up-to-date on their rabies vaccination. In fact, Massachusetts Law requires that domestic pets: cats, dogs, and ferrets, (six months or older) be vaccinated for rabies.
For more information about rabies, please visit BPHC’s www.boston.gov/rabies and CDC’s When should I seek medical attention? | Exposure | Rabies | CDC