It’s hard to find somebody who doesn’t love kittens, and the desire to help a defenseless stray is perfectly natural and noble — but as the following story illustrates, once you bring diseases into the equation, especially ones of the zoonotic (and fatal!) variety, it puts all of your animal and human friends at risk.
Rabid kitten traveled within 3 counties, N.J. health department says
The owner found the kitten in Edison on Nov. 12. The owner grew attached so quickly, that the feline accompanied its new master on errands throughout central New Jersey over the next 11 days.
There were no signs the kitten was infected with the potentially deadly virus until Nov. 23, when it stopped eating and became fatigued. Paralysis in the back limbs set in the next day.
During these 11 days, the kitten was taken to a career center, hospital, and Thanksgiving party, potentially exposing as many as 12 people to rabies. Thankfully, while rabies is a fatal disease, postexposure treatment is virtually 100% effective if administered promptly. Stories like this highlight the reasons NAIA is so focused on proper medical care and vaccinations, transparency, and common sense when it comes to transporting companion animals — especially ones without a known background.