UPDATE: The Virginia Department of Health confirmed that one source of rabies was a two-month-old kitten that tested positive for the virus on Thursday, Aug. 11. This kitten was reportedly a part of a colony of stray cats being maintained by a local community. The kitten was found near Ross Court in Petersburg.

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — The Petersburg Bureau of Police is asking residents to be alert, and keep all domestic animals inside after issuing a rabies alert for the city after a rabid cat was found in the Delectable Heights area.

Police said the Virginia Department of Health confirmed the positive case and said the cat is believed to have come into contact with many feral animals in the community. In response, Petersburg Animal Care and Control will begin setting traps for feral cats and other wild animals in the Heights area.

Residents have been advised to take the following precautions:

  • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets
  • Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come into contact with wild or feral animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance immediately
  • Call Petersburg Animal Care and Control — 804-732-3654 — to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild or feral animals with open garbage cans or litter
  • Teach children to never handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they look friendly
  • People who are bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should immediately seek medical attention