Quick rabies containment

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2006:

WASHINGTON D.C.–PetSmart Charities suspended cat and dog
adoptions at 22 stores in Virginia and Maryland in early June 2006,
after two kittens adopted from the Greenbelt store in the Washington
D.C. suburbs proved to be rabid. The kittens were in the store for
five days, beginning on May 14, Greenbelt PetSmart manager John
Marsiglia told Washington Post staff writer Hamil R. Harris.
The adoption shutdown limited human exposure to animals who
may have had exposure to the kittens. Those animals were quarantined
The two rabid kittens and four litter mates of the first
kitten were euthanized, Last Chance Animal Rescue director Cindy
Sharpley told Harris. Six humans from two familes who adopted the
kittens and several store employees received post-exposure

The quick containment was markedly different from the results
in October 1994, when a pet store in Concord, New Hampshire
inadvertently sold a rabid kitten from a found feral litter. Jamie
Childs, M.D., of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention in
Atlanta estimated in July 1995 that the New Hampshire episode cost
$1.5 million, including $1.1 million to administer a six-shot series
of post-exposure vaccinations to 665 people, $4,200 for testing
exposed animals, and $15,000 spent to find people who might have
handled the kitten.
Childs said the New Hampshire case was complicated because
the Concord store did not keep detailed records on animal sales and
health, kittens were allowed to roam freely throughout the store,
and the store was often visited by children from nearby childcare
centers and a school.
At the Greenbelt store, “The first kitten identified was
9-10 weeks old. The entire litter, without the mother, were picked
up and brought to Last Chance Animal Rescue,” PetSmart Charities
adoption operations manager Julie Schmaltz told ANIMAL PEOPLE. “They
were isolated from all other cats until brought into the store for
The adopter returned the kitten to the store because he “was
lurching and unsteady,” Sharpley told Harris. “When I reached into
his cage to check him, he attacked my hand.”
The second kitten, acquired by Last Chance from the Queen
Anne County Animal Control Center, according to Schmaltz, “was 12
to 14 weeks old,” Schmaltz said. She was in her adoptive home a
little over a month and had been seen by two veterinarians. The
first vet provided a rabies booster vaccination. The kitten went to
a second vet due to having problems with back legs and acting odd.
The vet gave her antibiotics, earmite medication, and worming
medication, and then sent her home. The day prior to the second vet
visit, the kitten bit the husband. The next day the kitten bit the
son and two other members of the family.”
PetSmart district manager Paul Amirault told Harris that the
company had handled only one other rabid animal, a dog in 2004,
among more than three million animals adopted out since 1989.

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