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Officials Warn New Rochelle Resident About Rabies-Infected Cat

Rabies warning poster in New Rochelle (credit: CBS 2)

Rabies warning poster in New Rochelle (credit: CBS 2)

CBS New York (con't)

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NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — People in New Rochelle are being warned about a red tabby cat in their neighborhood that is infected with rabies.

“They actually got a cat and tested a cat. That’s how they found out that it was rabid,” said resident Christin Sinkfield.

Posters were put up throughout one New Rochelle neighborhood warning about the rabid animal.

The warning went out to residents who may have had contact with the cat in the vicinity of Kress Avenue, near the intersection of Webster and Lincoln Avenues on or before Wednesday.

“Have had contact with this cat should contact Westchester County Department of Health immediately,” said resident Conrad Coleman, reading the warning.

Phone calls were made to residents within in half a mile from where the animal was found.

Many fear the rabid animal may have spread the disease to other strays.

“They need to come get all of these cats, all of them. If one they tested had rabies, then all of them are going to get it,” said Sinkfield.

Health officials say you can tell if an animal is rabid if it is displaying abnormal behavior, like being unafraid of humans, and if the animal is staggering or frothing at the mouth.

“You can always count on a cat being there,” said resident Kettisha Jeffers. “I definitely will take more care, maybe speaking to the super about it.”

As strays are not uncommon in the neighborhood, residents are keeping a cautious eye on the health of the cat population and planning to take extra precautions.

“Cats showed up about a year ago,” Coleman said. “But then I noticed more and more were coming.”

“I think it’s quite disgusting,” said resident Bertha Smith.

For more information, go to www.westchestergov.com/health or call the Rabies Infoline at (914) 813-5010.

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