On August 21, 2012, the department investigated a report of a cat bite on Acorn Court, a dead end street in the downtown area. Upon testing the cat, it was determined that the cat had rabies. This information was passed along to the resident that was bitten so arrangements could be made for follow-up medical treatment. Additionally, the department continued to investigate to determine if any other animals or people had been exposed.

During the follow-up investigation, the department’s Animal Control Officer Kate Koval learned that other numerous cats lived in and around the same residence possibly exposing other cats to the rabies virus. A check of a nearby garage revealed at least 6 cats that were in varying degrees of health. Those cats were captured, euthanized and sent to the state lab to be tested.

The department is working in conjunction with the State of NH Department of Health and Human Services to test any animals that are confiscated.

The ACO is working with residents in that area to insure that the remaining cats are quarantined and examined by a veterinarian to exclude the possibility that they may have contracted rabies. However, according to residents there are a large number of stray cats in that area.

With additional traps provided by Cocheco Valley Humane Society, the department is trapping cats in the area. In order to prevent the spread of rabies, the department will be euthanizing stray cats that are trapped. While the trapping occurs for the next several days, residents in the area of Acorn Court should keep their cats inside or insure that the cat has a collar on that contains the owner‘s information.

If a cat is found that has a collar on, we will check to see if it has a micro-chip and, if we are not able to locate an owner, transport it and house it at the Cocheco Valley Humane Society for 3 days. During that period, photos of any cats that we don’t believe are strays will be placed on the department’s Facebook page so it may be returned to its owner. After 3 days, if the cat is not reclaimed, it will be euthanized.

More information about rabies can be found on the NH DHHS website at:



  1. joann doke says:

    hi, good job getting this taken care of so quickly- I have a missing all black neutered male cat since Tuesday- I don’t think it could be in that area but it is not far from 370 Main- could you let me know if you have one. Thanks, mine do not go out but this one did

    • Lt. Willey says:

      Good Morning,

      We have only picked up one cat so far. It is a striped cat and we will be posting its photo on the website and Facebook page. We will also have any photos of cats that are trapped at the department’s booth at Hay Day tomorrow.

      Kevin Willey
      Interim Chief of Police

    • Lt. Willey says:


      I did see black cat this afternoon on Acorn Court. According to Mr. Duross, it is a stray that has been hanging around the property. If she can capture it, the ACO will be picking it up this afternoon and bringing it to Cocheco.

    • Lexi scott says:

      I am missing an all black male cat also. He was younger, his brother is also missing, Black and white. And our multi colored brown male also…

  2. […] Police are encouraging pet owners to keep their cats inside and to have easily identifiable owner information on their pets in case they are picked up during the search. […]

  3. Kim Bedard says:

    Unfortunately Social media has this spinning out of control. Several believe you are rounding up cats and euthanizing them in groups. I assume there is some kind of process other than the determination that if they do not have a microchip or a collar they are stray.
    While I do not live in Farmington, or need to be concerned, my cat does not have a collar. Benny has come home without them after several tries.

    Some confirmation that you have a process that is well communicated might prove helpful and a social media campaign might prove helpful in sharing the process with concerned citizens.

    many thanks-
    Kimberly Bedard

    • Lt. Willey says:


      Thank you for your reply. The department is going to extraordinary efforts to insure that if we pick up someone’s pet, it can be returned to its owner.
      Any cat that is picked up in this area is brought to Humane Society and housed for at least 3 days. We take a photograph of the cat and post it on our website and Facebook page. Additionally, we print the photo and will have it in our booth at the Town’s HayDay celebration tomorrow for residents to review.
      To date, we have only picked up one cat and its photo is available on either site.

      Kevin Willey
      Interim Chief of Police

  4. Jen says:

    Will these stray cats be able to be claimed by anyone other than their owners if there are willing adopters?

  5. Mary McDonald says:

    According to my vet rabies will kill a cat in 10 days, why not quarantine for 10 days instead of murdering innocent animals

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I don’t live anywhere near Farmington, but I saw the story on the news and it concerned me immediately. I’m not worried about my cats, but the cats that could be in jeopardy. If the cats don’t have any diseases worth worrying about then they should at least be put up for adoption instead of being euthanized. I have two cats and each one has all off their shots and they both wear collars. There have been multiple situations when one of the cats comes home and their collar is missing. It just happens! The odds of someone getting attacked by a cat with rabies aren’t very likely, so I don’t think that rounding up a bunch of cats and killing them is a very good solution to one attack. I know that my aunt is a foster mom for cats going through the adoption process. Sometimes the cats she has aren’t in the best conditions but she learned how to care for them and nurse them back to health. There are options other than killing them! Adoption, Foster care… If the owners aren’t around to claim the cats after 3 days then that’s it for the cats… I know that I just got home from vacation, what if the family is on a one week vacation and they come home and see their cat on Facebook. By the time they get down to the place where the cat was being held, the cat could already be dead. I know that I may be over reacting because at this time you have only picked up one cat. But there are other options besides killing them… no need for a response. I’m just standing up for all lives, even those of animals….

  7. A says:

    There should be leash laws for cats.

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