Rabid Kitten Mistakenly Adopted at Pet Supply Store

National chain suspends all animal adoptions in the mid-Atlantic after incident.

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PetSmart has suspended animal adoptions at 22 of its Maryland and Virginia locations after a kitten adopted at a Greenbelt, Md., store had rabies.

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

PetSmart does not sell cats and dogs, however, it provides space to rescue groups and shelters to hold adoptions.

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

Both Sharpley and the kittens owner are being treated for rabies as a precaution, though it is not yet known if either was infected.

The Prince Georges County, Maryland Health Department is asking people to contact the agency if they came into contact with any of the six kittens at the stores adoption center.

The six kittens were in the PetSmart store from May 14 to 19, according to John Marsiglia, manager of the Greenbelt location.

Posted: June 8, 2006, 5:00 a.m. EST

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Rabid Kitten Mistakenly Adopted at Pet Supply Store

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Reader Comments

Mary    Pennsauken, NJ

3/2/2009 6:50:53 AM

I hope Pet Smart doesn't give up adoptions in response to this. It does good work in showing animals to prospective adopters.

Susan    High Point, NC

4/19/2007 7:51:57 PM

We had a bad experience with a PetSmart adoption in Peoria, IL. We adopted a cat that was supposed to be "friendly to other cats". This white diva of a cat came out of her cage hissing and fighting with our family cat. Since we expected some terriroty issues, we gave the pair several months to adjust. At the end of that period the fighting was worse and litterbox wars had been waged. Yes, they each had their own box. BUT they did not respect each other and would go in each other's territory out of spite. Hence the "Litterbox War".
This diva of a female cat was not happy about sharing space with our then five year old child either. She would barely hug the animal and Ms. Attitude would let into her.
My lifestyle and schedule did not allow for a cat with bad behavior which had to be constantly watched. We gave the cat back to the shelter there and informed them it should be placed in a household without young children or other pets.
I will never adopt from PetSmart ever again where cats are concerned. I am sorry to hear about the rabies case and hope everyone is alright. Although I can not say I am surprised.
Before I get any responses on here about not all rescuee animals being bad, let me point out that I happily own a shelter adopted cat now. Her name is Maggie. I would return to adopt more from that shelter if I was not at my pet limit where we live.

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