Saturday, October 9, 2010

What we, and you, MIGHT have done

Continuing the story of “Sally,” the cat who had the bad luck to be sick, scarily thin and (I’m convinced now) nervous enough to bite me a few times while also coming closer at my invitation . . .

So, while necessary or not, Sally was tested for rabies. Which means she was first euthanized and then decapitated. Her brain was where proof of the disease would reside – although as we know now, she tested negative.

I have since spoken with Princeton’s animal control officer (ACO) and the doctor who treated Sally a week ago Wednesday. The ACO said that while he could pick up a cat in Sally’s condition – he’s a pro at it and carries pillowcases in his truck for that purposes – other people would need gloves, to avoid bites, and a blanket or towel to wrap her – if they even tried.

Essentially, he said the best thing to do is “call the police.” The reason: they’ll come to the scene and assess the animal’s situation. Then they can phone for the ACO to come; and if he’s not available, he has back-ups in three neighboring towns.And every town has some version or other of an ACO, he said, as required by law. So his recommendation may be the safest bet.

I’m still checking around about the entire process – what could happen and what (if anything) must happen with the sick animal once she’s been picked up. And whether any part of that procedure changes if the animal has bitten someone.

For right now at least, the key advice to keep in mind is “Call the police.”


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