MINETTO, NY – The Oswego County Health Department today (July 22) issued a warning that two adults and a pet dog were recently attacked by a rabid cat on DeMass Road near the Durham Bus Garage in Minetto.
The small black female cat was captured and euthanized, and test results showed it was infected with the rabies virus.
The dog, which had not been vaccinated for rabies, will need to be quarantined for six months or euthanized, in accordance with New York State Public Health Law.
Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang cautions people to keep their pets’ rabies vaccinations up-to-date and to be alert for animals showing symptoms of rabies.
“This is the second rabid animal confirmed in Oswego County in a little over a week, and the sixth rabid animal confirmed this year in Oswego County,” said Huang. “It is imperative that people keep their dogs, cats and ferrets vaccinated against rabies. The virus has been found in several towns across Oswego County and in our neighboring counties this summer.”
The County Health Department holds clinics across Oswego County every year to make it convenient for people to have their pets vaccinated for rabies.
The next rabies clinic will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 3, at the Bristol Hill Landfill maintenance garage, 3125 state Route 3, Volney.
Any time a person or pet is bitten by a domestic or wild animal, and any time that a person or pet comes in physical contact with a bat or a sick or suspicious-acting animal, the incident should be immediately reported to the County Health Department.
To report a possible exposure, call the Health Department weekdays at 349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3564.
In an emergency during evenings, weekends, or holidays, call the health department’s answering service at 341-0086.
Animals with rabies may show changes in behavior such as being unusually tame or aggressive, varying degrees of paralysis, impaired mobility, have excessive drooling, or seizures.
Dogs, cats and ferrets should receive their first rabies vaccine at three months of age. Ferrets must be vaccinated annually. Dogs and cats require a second vaccination within one year of the first, and every three years thereafter.
In order for pets to receive the 3-year booster shot, owners need to show that their pet was previously vaccinated. Owners should bring their pet’s last rabies vaccination certificate with them to the clinic.
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 pet ferrets should be in a carrier. Please leave sick pets at home.
Clinics will be held at these locations during the summer and fall:
– Volney: Wednesday, Aug. 3, 6 to 8 p.m., Bristol Hill Landfill Maintenance Garage, 3125 State Route 3.
– Parish: Wednesday, Sept. 7, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 24 Dill Pickle Alley.
– Pulaski: Wednesday, Oct. 5, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 957 Centerville Road.
– Scriba: Wednesday, Nov. 2, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 31 Schaad Drive.
To reduce the risk of rabies in animals and humans, people should take the following steps:
– Do not feed pets outdoors.
– 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.
– If a bat is found in the home, the health department advises residents to capture the bat so it may be tested for rabies.
The state Department of Health has developed a short video with instructions on how to safely capture a bat indoors.
To view the video, go to http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/zoonoses/rabies/
For more information on rabies visit www.oswegocounty.com/health/rabies.pdf or www.cdc.gov/rabies.