WACO (March 28, 2013)—A skunk that a Waco area resident found with his dogs in about the 16000 block of Wortham Bend Road tested positive for rabies, the second confirmed case in two days, police said late Thursday afternoon.
The first case was confirmed in a feral cat that bit a south Waco woman, who’s now being treated for rabies.
Authorities are awaiting the results of tests on another feral cat that bit a Waco police officer.
Police are advising residents to avoid feral animals and to make sure their own pets are vaccinated.
“We again are urging pet owners to be sure their own pets are up to date on rabies vaccinations and that contact with wildlife, stray or feral animals is avoided if possible,” Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.
“Children should be educated on the dangers of attempting to pet or play with these animals as well,” he said.
A spokesman for the Waco Animal Control office said the city has seen an increase in calls from residents reporting stray animals over the last few days.
Earlier Thursday Swanton said a feral cat bit a Waco officer on the hand on Tuesday.
The cat was euthanized and sent to a state lab for testing.
The woman was bitten on Sunday after spotting the feral cat playing her cats outside her home in the 3700 block of South 3rd Street.
She went outside and attempted pick up the feral cat and the animal, which police said was acting aggressively, bit her on the thumb and scratched her, as well, police said.
She reported the bite and Waco animal control officers were able to capture the cat and placed it in quarantine, where it died.
The woman's other pets are also being treated, police said.
A second person was also exposed, police said, but no further details were provided.
The confirmed rabies cases are the first in the city limits of Waco since 2006, police said.
Earlier rabies cases have been reported in McLennan, Bell and Coryell Counties, all of them involving skunks.
Three of the confirmed cases were in the city limits of Gatesville.