Niagara County Department of Health Division of Environmental Health Environmental Health Director Paul Dicky has announced a raccoon submitted for rabies testing from Lockport Street in the Village of Youngstown was confirmed positive for rabies. This is the second rabid animal confirmed in Niagara County in 2016. A dog was reported to have fought with the raccoon, which was behaving oddly. The dog's owner killed the raccoon on March 10.
"The dog was only required to get a rabies booster shot, as its rabies vaccinations were current," Dicky said.
Associate Supervising Sanitarian Scott Ecker said, "Please note, the Niagara County Health Department is hosting its next free rabies immunization clinic at the Town of Porter Highway Garage, 1800 Braley Road, Town of Porter, on Saturday, April 9, 2016, from 9-11 a.m."
As rabies season generally starts with the onset of warmer weather, the Niagara County Department of Health would like to remind county residents of the following precautions to prevent exposure to rabies from wildlife and domestic animals:
•Do not feed, touch or adopt wild animals, stray dogs or feral cats.
•Be sure your dogs and cats are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations. Vaccinated pets serve as a buffer between rabid wildlife and man. Protect them, and you may reduce your risk of exposure to rabies. Dogs and cats that receive rabies vaccine after 3 months of age are protected for a one-year period. Revaccinations are effective for up to three years. Pets too young to be vaccinated should be kept indoors.
•Keep family pets indoors at night. Do not leave them outside unattended or let them roam free.
•Don't attract wild animals to your home or yard. Keep your property free of stored birdseed or other foods, which may attract wild animals. Feed pets indoors. Tightly cover, or put away garbage cans. Board up any openings to your attic, basement, porch or garage. Cap your chimney with screens.
•Encourage children to immediately tell adults if they are bitten by any animals. Tell children not to touch any animals they do not know.
•If a wild animal is on your property, let it wander away. Bring children and pets indoors and alert neighbors that are outside. You may contact a nuisance wildlife control officer who will remove the animal for a fee or if there is danger, or you can call your local law enforcement agency.
•If your pet has been in a fight with another animal, wear gloves to handle it. Isolate it from other animals and people for several hours. Call your veterinarian. Your vaccinated pet will need a booster dose of rabies vaccine within five days of the exposure. Unvaccinated animals exposed to a known or suspected rabid animal must be confined for six months or humanely destroyed.
Report all animal bites or contact with wild animals to the Niagara County Department of Health Environmental Division at 716-439-7444 or 716-439-7430 after hours. Further information on rabies can be obtained from the Niagara County Department of Health at 716-439-7444 or www.niagaracounty/health.com.