Rabies Alert Issued After Rabid Cat Found In Mt Kisco
White Plains, NY - The Westchester County Department of Health is issuing a rabies alert to residents who may have had contact with a rabid stray cat in Mount Kisco, near an auto dealership at 225 Kisco Avenue on or before Monday, June 25.
The health department used robo-calls to notify residents who live within a half-mile of the area where the cat was found.
The cat was a small female one-year-old grey tabby with black stripes and a white belly and paws. It smelled of skunk and had been attacking tires in the auto dealer’s parking lot before it was captured.
“When you see a stray or wild animal acting strangely, it’s best to avoid contact with the animal and alert local authorities to avoid possible exposure to rabies,” said Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD. “Luckily, this cat was captured without having exposed anyone to rabies that we are aware of at this point.”
Anyone who believes that they or a pet may have had contact with the rabid cat should contact the Westchester County Department of Health immediately at (914) 813-5000 to assess the need for rabies treatment. Unusual behavior may be the first sign of rabies in an animal. A rabid animal may become either abnormally aggressive or unusually tame. It may lose fear of people and become excited and irritable, or, conversely appear particularly passive and lethargic. Staggering and frothing at the mouth are sometimes noted.
Direct contact with wild or stray animals, even baby animals, is inadvisable. Residents are also reminded not to feed wild or stray animals to avoid bringing rabies to their doorstep. Parents should teach children not to touch unfamiliar animals and to immediately tell an adult if they have been bitten or scratched by an animal. Any physical contact with a wild or unfamiliar animal should be reported to a health care provider. All animal bites or contacts with animals suspected of having rabies must be reported to the Westchester County Department of Health at (914) 813-5000, 24 hours a day.
Keeping pet rabies vaccinations up to date is also important for protection against rabies. New York State law requires dogs, cats and ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies and receive regular booster shots. For more information, go to www.westchestergov.com/health or call the RABIES INFOLINE at (914) 813-5010.
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