Rabid kitten alert!

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It’s not every day the city issues a rabid kitten alert.

An alert went out this week warning that feral cats and kittens roaming Bensonhurst may have rabies, after city officials captured a rabid raccoon that was seen fighting with some street cats in the neighborhood on Aug. 20.

The city trapped the virulent varmint — which this paper has named Foamy — near 16th Avenue and 78th Street, according to the Department of Health. The news is hitting local feral cat aficionados hard.

“People are in panic,” said Denise Szalaiko, a Bensonhurst resident who neuters and inoculates feral cats with her organization Ferals in Peril. “It was first thing that I heard when my [clock radio] alarm went off — rabid raccoons in Bensonhurst.”

But the cats in neighborhood are better poised to fight off a rabies invasion than others, due to the group’s work said Szalaiko’s husband, Peter.

“We’ve done a lot of trapping in that vicinity,” he said. “And the rabies shot is not optional. People in that area are relatively responsible, and those that maintain small colonies in their backyards have used our services to get them fixed and vaccinated, so I feel pretty comfortable.”

Trappers snip of the tip of feral cats’ left ears to signify they have been fixed and inoculated, and the rabies vaccine typically lasts for about three years — though results may vary, according to information from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

But if any cats caught the virus, it could still spread quickly, because summer is the season for cat love, and feral cats travel far from their home turf to bump fuzzies, Peter said.

“This is the mating season, so males tend to roam looking for female action,” he said. “It’s a very vulnerable time of the year for any disease to spread, so we’re going to be scouring that area looking for cats that aren’t ear-tipped.”

The city is cautioning people to stay away from feral cats and call 311 when they see sick-looking animals. Animal lovers shouldn’t leave food out for strays until the rabies scare dies down the Szalaikos said.

No one knows how raccoons first came to Brooklyn, but theories abound about how the masked menace made it to our humble shores.

And they aren’t just terrorizing Southern Brooklyn. The critters’ frighteningly human-like hands have a strangle hold on Carroll Gardens and their loathsome legions led a Greenwood Heights woman to electrify her fence.

Rabies is a virus that attacks the central nervous system and leads to death if not treated, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Infected animals often salivate excessively and lope around as though they were drunk.

Foamy is the third case of raccoon rabies the city has discovered in Brooklyn this year — the first was at 17th Avenue and 51st Street on April 22, and another was found at E. Fourth Street and Avenue C on April 28, according to the Health Department.

The local community board has lobbied the city to trap and remove raccoons, said CB11 district manager Marnee Elias-Pavia. But the city considers raccoons “wildlife” and typically only traps beasts that pose a public health risk.

The department could not immediately say whether it captured the cats that were tussling with Foamy.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Me from Bay Ridge says:
Why not trap the raccoons and innoculate them? They have a right to live too.
Aug. 22, 2014, 8:03 am
stop the attacts from Brooklyn says:
Raccoons are far more native/natural than feral cats. While neither should be exterminated, if humans choose to destroy as they normally do, then remove the unnatural, not the natural.

Save the Raccoons!

Lean about them.

Educate don't eliminate!!!
Aug. 22, 2014, 9:39 am
Melanie from Prospect Park says:
That picture isn't a kitten - I thinks it's a giant squirel.
Aug. 22, 2014, 10:17 am
BunnynSunny from Clinton Hill says:
Sunny wanted to know if that was a masked kitten.
Aug. 22, 2014, 11:08 am
Pam from Queens says:
When did squirels get that big???
Brooklyn squirels - so scary.

Why no pics of kittens? Can have a hamburger?
Aug. 22, 2014, 12:33 pm
TNR Researcher from North America says:
You did know, didn't you, that giving a rabies shot to a cat that already has rabies does not cure it of rabies? Google for: RABID KITTEN ADOPTED WAKE COUNTY (for just one example of hundreds of rabid cats adopted from outdoors, given their rabies shot, but still transmitting and then dying from rabies). The incubation period for rabies is, on average, from 21 to 240 days, sometimes up to 11 months, one rare case being 6 years. A vetted cat can STILL transmit rabies many months later (during the last 2 weeks before it dies of rabies, sometimes not even showing any symptoms up to the point of its death) if it was harvested from unknown rabies-exposure conditions with an unknown vaccination history. May one of those cats you adopt-out have rabies too. Is your liability insurance in excess of $10M? Either quarantine them for 6 or more months in a government-supervised double-walled enclosure system at your OWN expense (as required by national and international law), or euthanize them. Those are your only 2 options to be relatively certain you are not handing rabies to someone. Isn't reality fun?


Rabies outbreak caused by TNR! 50 pets euthanized. ALL stray cats destroyed. All livestock destroyed. More than a dozen homeowners pay for their own $5,000-$8,000 rabies shots for EACH family member.

Google for: Rabies Outbreak in Westchester County

Google for: Rabid Kitten Jamestown Exposure

There's hundreds more like those on the net showing everyone how these phenomenally ignorant and foolish cat-lickers "help" their communities by allowing TNR CAT-HOARDERS to continue their criminally negligent behavior. And contrary to these cat-lickers' perpetual LIES, feeding stray cats TRAINS them to approach humans for food. What do you think happens to the child or foolish adult that reaches down to try to pet or pick up that now seemingly friendly "cute kitty" that just approached them? The wild animal lashes out and bites or scratches the hand that has no food for them. Resulting in $5,000-$8,000 rabies shots for each victim of a cat-feeder's criminally negligent behavior, paid for out of the victim's OWN pockets. Two reports even document rabid cats entering a pet-door and one even came through the family's ceiling in search of human supplied foods, the attack so bad that the whole family required hospitalization. Thanks to TNR practices and free-roaming cats you are now FOUR TIMES MORE LIKELY to contract rabies from any cat than ANY OTHER domesticated animal.

This is why even the CDC has issued direct warnings against the use of these failed TNR programs anywhere and everywhere: onlinelibrary.wiley D0T com SLASH doi/10.1111/zph.12070/abstract
Aug. 22, 2014, 1:26 pm
TNR Researcher from North America says:
I also learned that TNR cat-hoarders practice a form of "TNR-On-A-Budget" (my name for it). TNR cat-hoarders who want to keep feeding their cats but can't afford all that tedious mucking-about and getting them sterilized or vaccinated just trap the cats and clip the cats' ears themselves. Then release them again right after clipping their ears. Doing their best to hide all evidence of where they keep these colonies and telling few about them. This way the cat if trapped again just gets released right there so the cat-hoarder can continue to dote-over and feed their unsterilized and unvaccinated cats. Plus everyone else who might happen on their secret cat-hoarding locations thinks those cats are sterilized and vaccinated so they have fewer concerns about them still over-breeding or spreading deadly diseases. The TNR cat-hoarder feeder just tells them, "Oh, don't worry. See that clipped ear? They are sterilized and vaccinated. Perfectly fine and legal!"

Thanks to these "TNR-On-A-Budget" psychotics, clipped-eared cats must be trapped and euthanized or quarantined for no-less than 6-months -- or destroyed on-site -- the only affordable and sane solution for everyone.

If you doubt what I claim about TNR-cat-hoarding addicts practicing "TNR-On-A-Budget", then perhaps you might enjoy this post I found (one of dozens from different individuals and unrelated situations) to again prove everything I say is 100% true. They don't talk about this practice too openly, usually when "off-the-record" in teaching others how to practice TNR -- just like they like to teach each other how to hide their cat-hoarders' illegal invasive-species colonies and how they attempt to do so (also revealed in the thread this post was taken from, verifiable link below).

"Chris Cook We had a culling of the neighborhood cats 2 years ago when there were only 10 or so (I lost 4 under my care in the same week). Now there's over 25 - that I know about (about half fixed)... it's just a matter of time before someone decides they have the 'solution' to the cat 'problem'. All I can do is get them tipped (in case Animal Services gets them, there's a small chance they'll release them back to the area they caught them) and hope for the best by making my own yard a hidden sanctuary of sorts. At least my HOA knows I'm TNRing them and not just feeding them so they (for now) look the other way while slamming the feeders-and-breeders who contributed to the problem getting out of hand and refusing any and all offers of assistance."

from: facebook D0T com SLASH permalink D0T php?story_fbid=295067530554567&id=110911218963121

Not only is this criminally irresponsible TNR practitioner hoarding and feeding unsterilized cats, they even attracted MORE cats to keep reproducing -- which again disproves their oft-spewed "defend their territory" and "vacuum effect" LIES. While also lying to their HOA to boot. They even believe that what they are doing _is_ TNR, that's just how demented these people are. I'd say this person reflects the norm rather than the exception, since TNR advocates relentlessly lie about so much and so often.
Aug. 22, 2014, 1:34 pm
ty from pps says:
i'd fix them if i had one.
Aug. 22, 2014, 2:11 pm
Common Cents from Crown Heights says:
This is how the zombie apocalypse begins...
Aug. 22, 2014, 2:46 pm
Jay from nyc says:
I was gonna say something like that in response to the first posters but I think TNR covered it. I would only add that the first poster advoacted trapping and vaccinating racoons. Well then "Me from Bay Ridge" fell free to set up your own program to do so and pay for out of your own pockets.
Aug. 22, 2014, 4:28 pm
Me from Bay Ridge says:
What do you propose? Exterminating them? Then the possums..then the squirrels...then the pigeons.
Aug. 22, 2014, 4:57 pm
TNR Researcher from North America says:
@Jay from nyc, no need to do what you suggest. There are government programs in place to vaccinate raccoons in any area where rabies becomes prevalent. (Here's one example of just thousands of counties that follow these policies: "Raccoon Oral Rabies Vaccination Project" -- ) Since raccoons are at a much lower risk of transmitting rabies to humans (not many people go up to pet or feed wild raccoons, unlike cats that every cat-admirer on earth wants to pet or feed by hand), cats instead are just destroyed because using bait-foods with vaccines in them is ineffective on controlling rabies in cat-to-human transmissions. Due to the house-cat species being so prevalent around all human habitation today and having such close contact to human activity and human's diseased-cat-"loving" values.
Aug. 23, 2014, 1:32 pm
old time brooklynSLOPE from slope says:
If they are rabid or suspected - boom boom out go the lights - theses are cats get real - no loss - period
Aug. 23, 2014, 8:37 pm

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