DEM warns stray orange cat in North Smithfield may have rabies

DEM warns stray orange cat in North Smithfield may have rabies

NORTH SMITHFIELD – The Department of Environmental Management and the Department of Health are advising residents of North Smithfield to avoid contact with a stray orange cat. The cat was in quarantine under observation for rabies, as it had sustained a wound of unknown origin, possibly from a rabid animal.

The cat was not vaccinated against rabies.

While under quarantine in Massachusetts the cat was brought to Rhode Island by its owner. However, the cat’s owner was not authorized to bring the animal into the state while it was under quarantine. While in Rhode Island the cat escaped from the home where it was being kept, and it is currently at-large. The cat escaped in the vicinity of the Route 146 exchange on Greenville Road, Route 104 in North Smithfield.

The cat is a medium to long-haired orange tabby, intact male, weighing approximately 12 pounds with a white triangle on its chest and white paws. The cat had bitten someone in Massachusetts prior to its being brought to RI.

Anyone who sees a cat that fits this description in the general area of the Route 146 exchange on Greenville Road in North Smithfield should report it to North Smithfield Animal Control at (401)766-0377 during normal business hours or to the North Smithfield Police Department at (401)762-1212 if Animal Control is unavailable.

Residents in the vicinity where the cat escaped are advised as follows:
Do not approach or try to capture the cat.
Do not leave pet animals out unattended.
Do not leave food or garbage out that may attract the cat or other animals.
Do make sure pet animals are properly vaccinated against rabies.

Anyone who may have had contact with this cat should immediately notify the RI Department of Health at (401)222-2577. If your pet animals or livestock have had contact with this cat you should immediately notify the North Smithfield Animal Control Officer at (401)766-0377 during normal business hours, or the North Smithfield Police Department at (401)762-1212.