I’m writing in response to an April 3 article titled “Central Texas plagued by rabies.” As a citizen of Waco and a person that works with the feral cat community in our area, I would like to offer a few words in response to the article about recent rabies cases in McLennan County.
People should always approach every animal they do not know with caution. Even if the animal is leashed and with their owner, it may not respond well to strangers.
In your article, you featured an image of an ear-tipped cat. If a feral cat has a left ear tip or notch, like the one featured in the image accompanying your article, it is part of the Trap-Neuter Return (TNR) program. These cats receive a rabies vaccination before being returned home after surgery and the caretakers monitor the health of the colony members. This makes these animals safer for all in our community.
It should be noted, the cat that was found to have rabies in the downtown Waco area was not part of the TNR program and was not ear tipped or vaccinated by a feral cat colony caretaker.
With the recent outbreak of rabies occurrences in our community, it is imperative that animal owners make sure their companions are vaccinated. Rabies vaccinations are available as low as $10 at the Animal Birth Control Clinic located at 3238 Clay Ave, Waco, Texas 76711.
– Sarah Key, volunteer at Heart of Texas Feral Friends and Animal Birth Control Clinic.