Township plans to euthanize feral cats

Baiting, trapping and euthanizing: that's the plan of action in a Cumberland County township after a preschooler was attacked by a rabid cat.

The child is expected to be fine, but South Newton Township has decided to take action. Officials have hired a company to trap feral cats on September 7-8.

Infected or not, the cats will be euthanized.

Residents who oppose the plan said they will do whatever they can to make sure the animals are not put down.

In 2010, Cumberland County had the highest rate of rabies in Pennsylvania.

“If it's a mammal, a warm blooded animal, whether it is a human, a dog, a cat, a horse, a sheep, if they get the rabies virus, it's fatal every time,” said Dr. Billie Ritter of Holly Pike Animal Hospital.

For a human to survive an infected bite, rabies must be treated before it reaches the brain.

South Newton Township is advising all residents to keep their pets indoors during the two trapping days.


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