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James Street Kitten Confirmed Rabid

OSSINING, N.Y. – A calico kitten that was found acting strangely near the intersection of James and State streets has been confirmed to have been rabid.

An Ossining resident saw the light-haired kitten with white, gray and orange markings clawing at the pavement and attacking an adult cat on Oct. 1, county health officials said in a press release on Thursday. The resident caught the kitten in a laundry bag, placed it in a dog crate in her car and brought it to the SPCA of Westchester on North State Road in Briarcliff.

"She was sort-of off balance, kind of thrashing around, and she didn't seem like she was a normal kitten that had regular cognitive functions," said Shannon Laukhuf, executive director of the SPCA of Westchester. "It's not every day that you see that, and our vet could tell right away that it seemed rabid."

The kitten, which was about three or four months old, was picked up by county health department workers, euthanized, and tested for rabies, Laukhuf said. Test results came back positive on Wednesday.

While the resident who brought the kitten in was not harmed by the kitten, an SPCA staff member was scratched and is currently undergoing post-exposure rabies treatment, Laukhuf said.

"I definitely don't recommend any member of the public try to handle an animal that is not quite right. Call the police department and they'll get someone to handle it," Laukhuf said.

The kitten was a feral stray and not anyone's pet, Laukhuf said. The area of Ossining where it was found has a lot of stray cats, she said.

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