Rabid cat attacks Citrus Park man, 5 stray cats euthanized

File photo

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — If you live in Citrus Park and your cat is missing, you might want to check with the county. Hillsborough County’s Pet Resources recently trapped and euthanized five strays in the area after a rabid cat attacked and killed two other cats, then attacked a man in Citrus Park on Saturday.

The county euthanized the stray cats in order to find out if rabies had spread to other animals.

Rabies notifications went out earlier this week to schools, businesses and homes near the intersection of Ehrlich and Del Valle roads in Citrus Park after the stray cat that attacked tested positive for rabies.

“When animals have ferocious rabies, they pretty well attack anything that moves,” said Brian Miller, an Environmental Administrator with Florida’s Department of Health in Hillsborough County.

The Montessori Pre-School of Citrus Park is nearby.  Ciara Mayoz said once she received the rabies notification this week, she made copies and handed them out to parents.  Her children, she says, are closely watched. “We told the kids to stay away from all animals, including squirrels and cats,” added Ciara.

The Health department learned of the attack on Monday.  It confirmed the animal was rabid on Tuesday.

“On Wednesday morning, one of my inspectors went out to the area and dropped of a number of fliers around the vicinity,” explained Brian Miller.  While some businesses neighbors acknowledge receiving notices, at least three people we spoke with were unaware.

“We haven’t received any notification about a rabid cat or anything like that,” said Bob Mullins.

8 On Your Side learned that while staff at Citrus Park Elementary School were alerted, the principal did not send the rabies notification home to parents. We went to the school to ask about that.  The school district later conveyed that the information would go home on Friday.

As for the euthanized cats, the state and county are waiting for results to see if the rabies has spread.

According to the county this is the same area where, a couple of years ago, they had problems with rabid raccoons.


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