Woman in Denton Bit by Rabid Cat

Denton officials trapping stray cats to test for rabies

By Sara Story
|  Friday, Jun 3, 2011  |  Updated 6:44 PM CDT
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A Denton neighborhood is on high alert after a cat with rabies bit a woman, now officials are setting traps to catch stray cats.

Sara Story, NBCDFW.com

A Denton neighborhood is on high alert after a cat with rabies bit a woman, now officials are setting traps to catch stray cats.

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A woman is being treated after a cat with rabies bit her on the west side of Denton earlier this week.

Authorities said one of the cats fed by an elderly woman in the Ranch Estates neighborhood bit the woman's caregiver.

"We don't know if they are strays or not," Denton police Officer Ryan Grelle said. "It may have never been vaccinated. It could have gotten into a fight with a wild animal that go rabies. We don't know, and we never will know."

The cat was euthanized.

Denton Animal Services set out animal traps to catch stray cats soon after the state confirmed the animal had rabies.

"If your cat or dog comes in contact with the animal that has rabies and then comes into your house, bites you by chance or licks an open wound, then you are susceptible to get the rabies too," Denton police Officer Ryan Grelle said.

Roxane Thomas, who grew up in Ranch Estates and takes care of her parents, who still live there, said the incident made her nervous. She said people in the neighborhood spend a lot of time outside.

"There have never been packs of dogs or an overrun of cats looking for food," she said. "We have never had a problem like that in 30 years."

Jose Valencia, a Ranch Estates resident, said a lot of children play outside.

Denton officials are testing stray cats they catch for rabies. No other cases have been found so far.

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