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PetSmart sells kitten with rabies - CNN

June 7th, 2006, 01:13 PM
Pet adoptions suspended after cat rabies case

Wednesday, June 7, 2006; Posted: 12:38 p.m. EDT (16:38 GMT) CNN

GREENBELT, Maryland (AP) -- A kitten adopted at a PetSmart Inc. store was ill with rabies, prompting the pet-supplies chain to suspend animal adoptions in the mid-Atlantic.

The kitten's owner and the director of the animal rescue group that supplied the kitten are being treated for the disease as a precaution, though it is not yet known if either person was infected.

The Prince George's County health department is asking people to contact the agency if they came into contact with kittens at the Greenbelt store's adoption center.

The infected kitten was one of six from the same litter that were in the PetSmart store May 14 to 19, said John Marsiglia, manager of the Greenbelt location.

The suspension of pet adoptions involves 22 stores in Maryland and Virginia.

The store learned of the infection last week after the owner returned the kitten because it was lurching and unsteady, said Cindy Sharpley, director of Last Chance Animal Rescue. The kitten bit Sharpley on her hand when she tried to handle it.

The infected kitten and its five littermates were euthanized, she said. Even though pets are vaccinated before they are adopted, rabies has an incubation period in which it isn't detectable.

"It is a tragic incident, and there was nothing that anyone could have done to prevent this from happening," she said.

PetSmart has arranged more than 3 million adoptions in its 17-year history, and has only had one other rabies case, said Paul Amirault, district manager for PetSmart.

June 7th, 2006, 02:15 PM
Don't the PetSmart stores in Canada work with rescue organizations? I don't recall ever having seen a kitten in a PetSmart in Calgary.
I know that the Petcetera stores used to get animals from the Humane Society, and when they stopped, I questioned why. They said that because they were also selling guinea pigs, bunnies, hamsters and stuff like that that they weren't getting from the Humane Society (even though there are those animals at the Humane Society), they were told it was a conflict of interest and had to stop. They now get their cats from the Meow Foundation (not sure where the dogs come from, perhaps ARF). I've also never seen a kitten in a Petcetera.

The other thing that I want to question... most places that I've seen where cats & dogs are sold--including the CHS, give the animals a set of vaccines, but this does not include rabies. Every vet I've ever taken my pets to have told me that the rabies is a seperate vaccine and isn't given in young animals (until 6 months?). I'm not sure why. So if the kitten was very young, then it wouldn't have been vaccinated for rabies even if they did vaccinate older ones for it. Am I right?


June 7th, 2006, 03:04 PM
The Ottawa Humane society has cats and kittens in stores all over Ottawa. PetSmart, Petcetara and a couple lesser known ones. Increases the chance that an animal will be adopted.

I hope they don't stop doing this as I think it does help the animals get exposure and people considering a kitten might choose an older one if they fall in love with it!

Whether is was at the shelter or at PetSmart the kitten would have been sick. And the chances are very slim. So hopefully the minute risk does not outweigh the huge benefits!

June 7th, 2006, 09:36 PM
This is what (I) think, (I) think it is great that these stores would allow different organizations to display their cats, more exposure means more adoptions and decreases the euthanasia rate. (I) also know that some SPCA's are NOT allowed to vacc. for rabies as a vet is required to administer this only. I see it being far more harmful for organizations to display 4-6 wks old kittens that still fit in your hand and their eyes are blue to be put up for adoption and label them as 8+ wks, come on it isn't rocket science to be able to tell the difference:mad: I know of one Petsmart here in the city that asked an organization(SPCA) to stop bringing cats into that store as they(SPCA) wasn't supplying tiny kittens like the other organization. Come on people what is the purpose? To increase adoptions or to incourage impulse buying? Because really who can resist a tiny little kitten. (I) think all of these stores that are allowing cats to be viewed should be just that 'cats' the harder to place, maybe juniors(6mos+) Oh and a final comment on the rabies, how can they say that the kitten was infected with rabies? Having worked in the animal field for many years, the only real, true way to 'test' for rabies is to cut off the head and take a part of the brain, you cannot tell just by looking at the animal