Local News

Fayetteville Residents, Pets At Apartment Complex May Have Been Exposed To Rabies

Posted October 24, 2000

— Arabieswarning has people living in one Fayetteville apartment complex on edge. A kitten infected with the deadly virus may have spread it to other animals and people living in the area.

John McCormick, a resident at the Village at Carver Falls apartment complex, loves animals, especially cats. He feeds the cats in his backyard twice every day. He says they keep him company and help protect his property. Last week, one of the cats met its match.

"I saw a raccoon when it bit one of the kittens, and the kitten is the one that had rabies," he says.

The kitten was put to sleep. Animal control wants to know if other cats are infected. Officers put up traps so cats can be caught and tested for rabies.

Animal control officers say they do not know what or who the infected kitten came in contact with.

"It's very possible there were some people that had been putting food out in the back of the woods for the cats," says animal control officer Stacie Colbourne.

Roberto Benitez and his family live a few buildings away from McCormick's place. He says he is very worried about the safety of his three-year-old son.

"That's pretty sad because that's a situation that should be taken care of immediately because rabies is something to get concerned about," he says.

Managers at the Village at Carver Falls say they have put up flyers, alerting people of the situation. There are eight people in the apartment complex who are undergoing treatments for possible exposure to rabies.

"It probably is not a good idea to feed them just because you have the potential like this for disease and problems," says veterinarian Dr. Chris Faircloth.

Animal control officers have also placed traps in the woods to capture the stray cats.

If you notice any change in the behavior of your pet at all, you are asked to bring it to animal control for testing.


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