Three people injured when cats invade house in Neb.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. -- Two stray cats got into a house and attacked three people inside, then were euthanized and checked for rabies, authorities said.

The cats entered Melissa Breva's house through an open front door on Monday, and attacked two women visitors and a boy, authorities said.

"I thought I had seen it all, but I have never seen anything like this," police chief Martin Gutschenritter said.

Animal control officer John Pettit responded to a call for help, Gutschenritter said.

One woman was scratched and bitten on her legs; the other woman was bitten on her right calf, authorities said.

After talking to them, Pettit went to his truck for snares, then heard screaming from inside the house.

"When he ran back, he saw a young male with blood over his face," Gutschenritter said. "He was bitten on his forehead, nose, left ear and right cheek."

The three were taken to Great Plains Regional Medical Center.

When investigator John Stadler arrived and opened the bedroom door, "he saw a gray and white cat baring its teeth in attack mode," Gutschenritter said. "He shut the bedroom door and returned to his car for a dart gun."

Both cats were shot, tranquilized and taken to the animal shelter, where they were euthanized.

The bodies were sent to Lincoln for rabies checks, Gutschenritter said.

Authorities want to find out who owned the cats. Under a city ordinance, cats may run free if they don't become nuisances.

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