HARTFORD, CONN. (JUNE 24, 2016)  The Hartford Police Department and Department of Health and Human Services are notifying residents that a stray cat recently tested positive for rabies in the Blue Hills neighborhood of Hartford. The stray cat was captured and tested positive for rabies after biting two individuals who had been feeding the stray cat. Both individuals received appropriate medical treatment.

In light of this incident, residents are being reminded that they should not approach wild animals. Area residents are reminded to keep pets up-to-date on their vaccinations. Protecting your pets by keeping them current on their rabies vaccine is an important buffer between wildlife rabies and human exposure, not only does the vaccine keep your pet safe, but it can help keep you and your family safe as well.

In addition to vaccinating your pets for rabies, there are several things residents can do to protect themselves and their pets:

Avoid wildlife and animals you do not know.

Keep your pet on a leash. Do not allow your pet to roam; it can come in contact with rabid wildlife.

Never feed or touch wild or stray animals, especially stray cats, bats, skunks, raccoons, foxes or groundhogs.

Teach your children that they should tell you if they were bitten or scratched by an animal.

Call your doctor and the local health department if bitten or exposed to saliva or blood of a wild or stray animal.

Contact your veterinarian if your pet was exposed to a bat, raccoon, skunk or other wild carnivore.

If you are bitten by an animal, wash the wound immediately with soap and water and seek medical attention.

For further information, please contact the Epidemiology Division of the Hartford Health and Human Services Department at (860) 757-4730.

Incidents occurring in Hartford should be reported to the City Health and Human Services at (860) 757-4730 or Hartford Animal Control at (860) 757-4005.

Click here for more information about rabies: http://1.usa.gov/28SGO0o

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