Second report of rabid cat turns out to be false

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Health officials in Lancaster County now say a cat in Mount Joy did not test positive for rabies as they initially reported.

The Organization for Responsible Care of Animals (ORCA) sent out an alert last week when they thought the cat had the deadly virus because it was the second case in less than two weeks.

A woman found the feral cat and said it appeared sick. The animal bit her after she allowed it into her home. Police were called to the home and they shot the cat. The dead animal was recovered from beneath a deck attached to the home and sent to a lab.

A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture confirmed they tested a sample tissue from the cat’s brain and it tested negative for rabies. He said he does not know where the mix-up came from that led to the wrong report from the Lancaster County health department.

It is not clear what actually caused the cat to be sick.

Last month, a feral cat being housed at ORCA’s shelter in Elizabethtown did test positive for rabies. Two staff members are receiving rabies treatment after being exposed to that cat.

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