Bay City News Service
A confirmed case of rabies in an unvaccinated, domestic cat in the Glen Ellen area is the first in a domestic animal in the county since 1997, the Sonoma County Department of Health Services said Thursday.
County officials did not release specific details about the rabies incident. Animal Care and Control Director Amy Cooper said the cat bit someone and that person received rabies shots.
VIP Pet Care will be offering $5 dog and cat rabies vaccinations for the next three weeks throughout the county in response to the incident, Cooper said.
All proceeds from the vaccinations will go to the "Love Me Fix Me" spay/neuter program hosted by Sonoma County Animal Care and Control.
The report comes on the heels of a recent study suggesting cats, both domestic as well as feral, kill 15 billion animals annually, making them "one of the single greatest human-linked threats to wildlife," according to the New York Times.
The Department of Health Services said the rabies incident highlights the dangers of not vaccinating pets.
Bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes are most often affected with rabies in California, but all mammals can become infected and sporadic cases in domestic animals can still occur, the Department of Health Services said.
State law requires vaccinations of all dogs and it is strongly recommended that cats also be vaccinated.
VIP Pet Care is holding a Rabies Clinic for cats and dogs at Garrett's Ace Hardware next week, on Wednesday Feb. 6, from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m. Rabies shots are $5 for either cats or dogs. Click here for details on other dates and locations.