I want to warn, not only pet lovers, but all people living in the panhandle.  Last week Potter county had a cat that tested positive for rabies.

Most people have the misconception that only animals can get rabies. That isn't so.  Although it is very rare, if a person gets a bite from an infected animal the virus will enter the body.  The virus will not only cause the brain to swell, but if not treated immediately it will cause convulsions, respiratory failure, and death in almost every person infected

Last week an Amarillo woman was bitten by a cat who tested positive for rabies.  The cat was caught around the area of North Pullman Road.  Unfortunately the woman did not report the incident in time so officials have since set up traps around the area.

"If you see a stray animal or you're exposed to a stray animal or definitely if it breaks the skin, you need to contact Animal Control or the police department so we can start protocol and the follow-up," Amarillo Animal Control Assistant Director Shannon Barlow said.  "Maybe we could prevent anybody having to take any post-exposure vaccinations.  They're painful and they're expensive."

The woman and a few other people who were exposed to the cat had to be given post-exposure rabies shots.  Animal control has also tested nine cats and kittens to be safe.

So how do you know if an animals is infected or not?  It is kind of hard to tell if the animal is newly infected but if it is a wild animal, they'll become extra friendly at first.  As the infection advances, you will be able to notice foaming at the mouth and crazy aggressive behavior.

If you are a pet owner, the best thing for your animals is to keep your animals up-to-date on their rabies shots.  Now if you see a stray animal that looks iffy or if you are bitten by the animal, contact animal control immediately!

If you have been bitten by an animal seek medical attention immediately, then contact the Amarillo Animal Control Department at 806.378.3092 or the Amarillo Police Department at 806.378.3038 to report the bite incident.

Here is all their information.

Animal Control Shelter
3501 South Osage

The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 10:00 am through 7:00 pm.

806.378-9032 Office
806.342.1565 Fax


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