On Thursday, Nov. 17, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation notified the Niagara County Department of Health that between 1 and 1:30 p.m., they observed a woodchuck fighting with a domestic dog on Artpark property in Lewiston.
NYSDEC reported a golden retriever/lab type breed accompanied by an unknown owner who whistled for the dog to return to him. The owner left the park with his dog, possibly unaware of the incident. Because the woodchuck was not captured or tested for rabies after known direct contact, the threat of rabies exists for the dog.
If anyone has any information that would assist in finding the owner and the dog, notify the Niagara County Department of Health Rabies Prevention Program during business hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 439-7444 or after business hours at 439-7430. If calling after business hours, ask dispatch to contact the on-call environmental health officer, who will return the call at the number you provide. It is important for the department to conduct appropriate follow-up procedures to protect the health of the dog and its family.