HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - Officials at Henry County Animal Control believe a cat may have contracted rabies while she was pregnant and passed it on to her kittens.
The woman giving away the kittens may not have known it and neither did the people who accepted them.
Henry County rabies control officer Vince Farah said he got the word late Friday night that a kitten that had scratched a local woman was rabid.
"If one kitten was positive it's highly likely the others are positive for rabies as well," Farah told Channel 2's Eric Philips.
The kitten came from two women seen in surveillance pictures who were giving away six kittens in front of the Walmart in McDonough back on August 25.
"Walmart is telling me they do not allow this type of activity to go on but it does happen unbeknown to them," Farah said.
Officials said a man took one of the kittens home. It scratched his wife and then began acting lethargic. The family took the cat to a 24-hour veterinarian clinic where it was euthanized because the vet didn't believe it would survive a 10-day quarantine. The
remaining ones tested positive for rabies.
Now officials want to know who else may have come in contact with the kittens.
"In this situation, we have five other kittens that we know about that are out there somewhere. We do not know who handled these kittens. We don't know who the women were giving the kittens away," Farah said.
It's urgent that those who came in contact with the cats be identified because rabies is life threatening, he said.
"If gone untreated, death. That's the bottom line," warned Farah.