• Rabid feral cat attacks police officer, residents in Leesburg

    By: Myrt Price , James Tutten

    Updated:

    LEESBURG, Fla. - Investigators said three people, including a police officer, were attacked by a rabid, feral cat after it got into a Leesburg home.

    It's not exactly clear how the cat got in, but all those people had to get rabies shots.

    Neighbors said the rabid cat was roaming the streets in the neighborhood on Westside Drive.


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    They said the cat tried to get inside a home and that’s when it started to attack.

    Neighbors said they couldn’t believe what was going on after the cat started to attack.

    Sheriff’s officials said the cat was acting strangely and displaying signs of neurology issues while trying to get inside the house.

    Eventually, the cat was able to get in, and that’s when the family called police for help.

    John Herrell, with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, said once on the scene, the officer "learned someone in the house had been scratched and another person in the home had been bitten as they were trying to capture this cat."

    As the officer tried to capture the cat, “He was scratched, as well," Herrell said.

    A Lake County animal control officer showed up and caught the feral cat.

    The animal was taken to the Lake County Animal Shelter and placed in quarantine.

    "Yesterday we learned that the cat was rabid,” Herrell said. “Because once they had euthanized the cat, they sent it off for testing."

    Officials said they haven't received any other reports of any rabid animals.

    All of the people involved were given medication as a precaution, even the animal control officer who officials said wasn't bitten or scratched.

    Officials also urge people not to touch or try and catch unfamiliar or feral animals.

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