Barrington cat tests positive for rabies

About 33 people exposed to cat; dept. of health says all have been notified


A Lorraine Street resident's cat tested positive for rabies recently.

According to Barrington police, the animal's owner brought the cat to a local veterinary hospital recently after the cat began displaying signs of rabies. The owner reportedly asked that the cat be euthanized and tested for rabies.

Last week the Rhode Island Department of Health returned results, stating that the cat tested positive for rabies. Officials have contacted about 33 individuals in Rhode Island and Massachusetts who had been exposed to the cat.

"It was fairly contained," said RI Department of Health Spokesperson Joseph Wendelken, about this case. He added that all people who were exposed to the cat are getting treatment.

Police said that it was about a month ago when the Lorraine Street resident's cat had suffered a wound of unknown origin. The resident took her cat — it had not been vaccinated for rabies — to an animal hospital in nearby Massachusetts. The cat was given a rabies booster shot and placed on a four-month quarantine, said police.

According to the report, however, the cat had recently shown signs of being rabid. The cat reportedly bit and scratched its owner a number of times. That's when the resident brought the cat to a Barrington animal hospital and requested that the cat be euthanized and sent to the RI Department of Health to be tested for rabies.

Mr. Wendelken said he was not sure if the cat had been kept indoors while it was being quarantined.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story said about 20 people were exposed to the rabid cat. That figure was updated by the RI Department of Health.


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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.