Caregivers are responsible for their cat until the animal has been checked in to the Operation Catnip Spay Day clinic. They are responsible for taking action on their own behalf or on behalf of the animal if they are bitten or scratched BEFORE the animal is checked in or AFTER it has been checked out. Injured caregivers are advised to seek medical attention immediately.
In the event that a volunteer is bitten or scratched by a cat during a clinic, the following applies:
- Wash cuts, scratches, bites and abrasions immediately and thoroughly in large amounts of warm soapy water.
- Report the incident immediately to the Clinic Supervisor, who will record the injury in the Clinic Incident Log and report the wound to Alachua County Animal Services.
- Label the cat’s trap “ISOLATION.”
- Place the cat in an isolated area once it completes the clinic rotation. If the animal is not euthanized, it must be quarantined by a veterinarian for 10 days. Any cost associated with the isolation or quarantine of the animal will be the responsibility of Operation Catnip.
- Seek medical attention. Any follow-up vaccinations or medical treatment required by the volunteer will be the responsibility of the volunteer.
Bite and Scratch Warning
Community cats brought to Operation Catnip may have been exposed to the rabies virus, and since many are feral, they are predisposed to bite defensively. Rabies is not the only threat from bites & scratches. Cat bites are notorious for rapidly leading to serious infection.
Public health guidelines call for immediate medical attention and antibiotics to reduce the risk of life-threatening or debilitating infections following cat bites. If anyone is bitten or scratched, local and state laws determine the protocol to protect both volunteers and cats.