https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/zoonoses/rabies/This time of year many young animals are born and foraging for food alongside their mothers. Some have been hibernating during the colder months and now become more active, but could also be sick with a fatal disease like rabies.
- If you see raccoons, foxes, skunks, bats, woodchucks, or other mammals coming close to you and acting strangely, stay clear. Most often they will wander off, but take precautions and move children and pets inside out of their way and move any pet food inside to discourage wildlife from coming close. If these animals become a problem, call Yates County Public Health or Animal Control.
- Keep your pets or livestock current on their rabies vaccinations. If your animals have not been vaccinated for rabies or are out of date, it becomes a quarantine problem if your pet has contact with a potentially-rabid animal. For everyone's safety and well-being, keep rabies vaccinations current.
Puppies and kittens need to be at least 3 months old to get a rabies vaccine. Until that time, keep them safe inside away from wildlife. After the first rabies vaccine, the pet is vaccinated for 1 year, and will need another rabies vaccine after the 1st year has passed. The 2nd vaccine will be good for 3 years, unless the pet is exposed to rabies. (A booster will be needed if the pet has contact with wildlife then.) Keep the rabies vaccination certificate available so you know when each pet is due for another rabies vaccination.
- If you encounter baby animals without their mothers, stay away from them. Their mothers may be nearby and will return. If the mother animal has been injured or hit in the road, do not pick up the babies and take them home. This is a job for the DEC or Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators to care for orphaned wildlife.
Yates County Public Health offers FREE rabies vaccination clinics throughout the year. To learn the dates and locations for the 2019 rabies clinics, go to: https://www.yatescounty.org/239/Rabies-Clinics.