Local News

Jun 16, 2014 6:02 PM by Caroline Flores

Mathis Woman Undergoing Rabies Treatments

CORPUS CHRISTI - Due to fears of a rabies outbreak people in San Pat County are asked to stop feeding stray animals.

Two rabid skunks were found in the Lake Shore Garden area right outside the Mathis city limits. It's the first outbreak in skunks that they've seen in more than a decade. The disease spreads quickly, so health officials are urging people all around the Coastal Bend to make sure their pets are vaccinated against rabies.

A woman in Mathis is having to undergo rabies treatments after she was bitten by a stray kitten.

Soledad Reynero was feeding a litter of kittens last Monday when one bit her thumb.

Reynero only spoke Spanish but her niece translated for us. "She was trying to rub something off it's stomach. So when she turned him over, the cat bit her."

It died the next day, so Reynero's niece threw the kitten in a field.

Police couldn't find the kitten to test it, so now this 89-year old Reynero is having to undergo rabies treatments. The Mathis Police Chief says her treatment is a precautionary measure, as he didn't find any signs of rabies with the other kittens.

So while stray kittens may look very cute, police are asking residents do not feed any feral cats or wild animals. Officers say it's the best way to ensure rabies doesn't spread into the city limits.

"The one thing you wanna do is stop feeding those animals, because as long as you feed them they're gonna keep returning back to your property," said Mathis Police Chief Gerald Arismendez.

Police are also asking residents to keep their family pets away from strays. To help keep their family dog away from the stray cats, Reynero's niece asked if Animal Control could collect them from her aunts house. She says she was told that won't happen.

"Uh I don't believe that we... We have a facility that could address all the feral cats that we have in the city," said Chief Arismendez.

So the chief says it's imperative residents don't feed them, or go near them. They're asking Mathis residents to give them a call if they see a skunk or raccoon during the day or find numerous animals turning up dead.

This Saturday, the PAAC group will host a rabies forum at the Mathis City Annex at 401 East San Patricio. Residents can get rabies vaccinations for their pets for $10. It will be offered from 9 a-m to noon.

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