Rabid animal warnings in Montgomery Co.

A photo of a rabid cat that was taken in by a family in Whitpain Township, Montgomery County.

May 26, 2010 3:03:40 PM PDT
Neighbors in Whitpain Township who encountered a stray cat never suspected that it was sick. But it was.

As it turns out, the cat is just one of a four rabid creatures that have been spotted in Montgomery County in recent weeks.

Brendon and Eva Wargo love playtime, but last week was no fun when the twins had to be vaccinated for rabies.

It was just such a friendly cat," said their mother, Karen Wargo, "I felt like it was OK. It looked healthy. The kids were playing with it. I was playing with it. I thought it was one of the neighbors' cats."

Little did they know that the friendly feline on the front door, the one they invited into their home, had rabies.

"My neighbor had been feeding it for a couple of weeks," Wargo said. "When they saw it, they realized it was not the same cat that they had been feeding."

"It's just in the last couple of days he started to change," Rick Wargo said. "There's a ten-day window where rabies sets in."

The cat was eventually euthanized.

As for the Wargos, the kids each had to get 2 shots, Rick needed 5 rabies shots and Karen needed 4 shots.

The Montgomery County Health Department warns that foaming at the mouth and aggressive behavior are not the only signs of rabies.

"The symptoms could be anything from them being overly aggressive to them being overly affectionate, so it's kind of hard to tell," said Harriet Morton of the Montgomery County Health Department.

Several pets in the neighborhood that were not vaccinated have had to be quarantined for a period of 90 days. The health department is urging anyone who has a pet that has not been vaccinated to do so immediately.