Rabid cat attacks 2 people, 2 dogs; More victims possible

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico County Officials say the 4th rabid animal in two weeks is found. The latest is a cat, which attacked several people. It happened on the 9700 block of Laurel Pine Drive, as well as the 9700 block of Esmont Road.

It's in a driveway on Laurel Pine Drive in Henrico County, where a woman was attacked by the rabid cat, that terrorized a neighborhood.

From one driveway and into the backyard of others. This rabid cat attacked at least 2 people and 2 pets, including Charles Sears' dog, Hunter.

"He was shook up. He was shook up with the car and stuff," said Charles.

Now Hunter is getting a front seat ride to the vet for some booster shots.

Animal lover Jenee Gilchrist was the first person to be attacked by the rabid cat.

"It makes me really leary right now. I am going to have to build back my confidence with cats after this," she said.

All she was doing, was just trying to go to work on Wednesday, but ended up having a rabid cat sneak up on her.

"I saw the cat panting a little bit and the eyes did not look right. And before I could even react it lunged at me crawled up my right leg attached to my thigh. And wouldn't let go... like a tree attached onto my leg," said Jenee.

Her leg is now covered with big scratches. She tried to get away, but she fell on the ground in the process, cutting her arm. The rabid cat let go when she fell, but quickly returned, even chasing Jenee into her own home.

"It was a vicious cat and it's all because of rabies," said Jenee. "Now I have to undergo a series of shots until October."

Lt. Shawn Sears, with Henrico Animal Control, tells us this cat was the most agressive one he's ever had to deal with.

"It was extremely agressive. Tearing at the cage it was in," said Lt. Sears.

One of his officers was attacked by the cat, even having to use his pole to capture the cat, as a weapon. Eventually the cat was caught, examined and euthanized. 2 days later, tests came back positive for rabies.

Aninmal Control officers believe this cat was a stray and not vaccinated. In addition, they believe someone was feeding the cat.

"I'm just hoping he's alright and I'm going to be alright. I hope I don't catch it," added Charles.

But officers are worried other people may have come in physical contact with the rabid cat before this past Wednesday Afternoon. The cat was grey in color with white on its chin and around its eyes. The cat also has darker gray tabby markings.

Jenee's now worried other cats like the rabid one, could be in her neighborhood.

"It's something you don't want to undergo. So, Iwould tell anybody who tell anybody who is not getting their pets vaccinated, them get vaccinated," she said.

Call Henrico County Police at 501-5000 if this cat touched you.

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