OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Health Department reported today (April 19) that two racoons recently tested positive for rabies.
One was in the town of Hannibal and the other in the town of Williamstown.
There was no known contact between either raccoon and humans or pets.
These are the fourth and fifth rabid animals confirmed in Oswego County this year, compared to just one confirmed rabid animal at this time in 2018.
The five rabid animals were found in northern, eastern, central and southwestern parts of Oswego County, serving as a reminder to all residents that the risk of rabies is a county-wide threat to people and their pets.
“New York State Public Health Law requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies,” said Oswego County Director of Environmental Health Judith Grandy. “Pet owners need to make sure that their pets are up-to-date on their vaccinations.”
Dogs, cats and ferrets should receive their first rabies vaccine at three months of age. Dogs and cats require a second vaccination within one year of the first, and every three years thereafter.
Ferrets must be vaccinated annually.
Pet owners need to show that their pet was previously vaccinated to receive the three-year booster shot. They should bring their pet’s last rabies vaccination certificate with them.
The Oswego County Health Department holds immunization clinics throughout the county to help meet this need in the community.
The next rabies clinic is scheduled for Wednesday, April 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the County Highway Garage, 957 Centerville Road, Pulaski.
Rabies clinics continue at the following locations this year:
– Parish: Wednesday, May 15, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 24 Dill Pickle Alley
– West Monroe: Wednesday, June 12, 6 to 8 p.m., Town Highway Garage, 46 County Route 11
– Granby: Wednesday, July 10, 6 to 8 p.m., Town Highway Garage, 820 County Route 8
– Volney: Wednesday, Aug. 14, 6 to 8 p.m., Bristol Hill Landfill Maintenance Garage, 3125 NYS Route 3
– Pulaski: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 957 Centerville Road
– Scriba: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 31 Schaad Drive
The health department suggests a $7 donation per animal to help cover the cost of the rabies clinics, but no one will be turned away.
Dogs should be leashed. Cats and ferrets should be in a carrier.
Please leave sick pets at home.
The vaccine is also available from a veterinarian.
To reduce the risk of rabies in pets and humans, the Oswego County Health Department advises people to take the following steps:
– Make sure that dogs, cats and ferrets have current rabies vaccines.
– Do not feed pets outdoors and never try to feed a wild animal.
– Do not approach or touch unfamiliar animals.
– Avoid any animal with symptoms of rabies.
– Block any openings into the home that an animal may get through.
– Keep tamper-proof lids on outside garbage cans so animals are not attracted to your property.
– Teach children basic rules about protecting themselves from strange and unfamiliar animals.
For more information on rabies, visit www.cdc.gov/rabies.