The Niagara County Department of Health has been notified two raccoons submitted for rabies testing by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services, which were collected in the Town of Royalton, were confirmed positive for rabies on Friday. The raccoons had no known contacts with any pets or humans. They were submitted by USDA as surveillance samples only. The animals were tested by the New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center, Griffon Laboratory.
The Niagara County Department of Health would like to remind 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 humans. 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 with proof of previous vaccination. Pets too young to be vaccinated should be kept indoors. The Niagara County Department of Health offers free rabies clinics throughout the year and will notify media outlets as well as post information on our website and social media as clinic details are finalized.
·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 bird seed or other foods that 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, 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. Further information on rabies can be obtained from the Niagara County Department of Health at 716-439-7444 or www.niagaracounty/health.com.