Public Health Advisory: Get your pets rabies shots and don't touch stray or wild animals
Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Public Health Advisory
Keeping Wild Animals – Unsafe, Illegal and Inhumane!
RABIES ALERT! STOP! and THINK! Do NOT touch! It can kill! Any mammal is able to get rabies, it is very important to get your pets vaccinated and not to touch or handle any stray or wild animals including baby animals and bats.
“The Health Department has had several cases where people have taken in wild animals (babies) and / or played with stray cats and dogs which have led to unnecessary post exposure treatments and/or having to put the animals down (euthanize) them to be tested," stated Paul Pettit, director of Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.
"Because rabies is in New York State ALL wild and stray animals that come in direct contact (bitten or scratched with broken skin and saliva exchange in open wounds or mucous membranes – eyes, nose, and mouth) with humans and domesticated animals are assumed to have rabies...even if they don’t.
"The only way to know is by testing the animal, which means it has to be euthanized. Whether the animal has rabies or does not, it is dead. Not only are you putting your family and friends at risk of a deadly disease, those who think they are ‘helping’ an animal could be giving it a death sentence."
Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Infected mammals can spread rabies virus to humans and other mammals through the saliva and spinal fluids. Rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms appear.
Pettit notes, “It is illegal to possess any wild animal that naturally lives in the state. Not only do these animals have the potential to spread rabies, but they often carry parasites, or may carry diseases that can be spread from animal to human.
"It is important to leave wild animals alone! More times than not baby animals are not orphaned but are kept hidden while the parents can hunt for food or stay away to protect them from predators. Nature will take care of nature. Wild animals have had to be put down because humans have interfered in their lives.”
The best way to keep pets safe from rabies is to vaccinate them and keep their shots up-to-date.
By avoiding contact with stray or wild animals, saving the bat / animal that may have had contact with humans / domestic animals, and reporting an incident to your local Health Department, we may be able to avoid unnecessary medical treatment that averages over $3,000 per person.
Take note of the upcoming FREE anti-rabies immunization clinics for dogs, cats and ferrets. The animal must be three months of age or older. Additional clinics can be found by checking the web sites or calling your local Health Department. Check your county web site for pre-registration instructions. Each dog, cat, and ferret must be accompanied by someone who can control it:
- Genesee County: Thursday, Aug. 18, at the Genesee County Fairgrounds, 5031 E. Main St., Batavia. The clinic runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Dog, cat and ferret vaccinations are free for Genesee County residents. A $5 voluntary donation per dog, cat, or ferret, is appreciated to offset clinic expenses. Non-county residents must pay a mandatory $5 fee for each dog, cat, and ferret immunized. Speed up the registration process during the clinic by registering your pets ahead of time! To pre-register your pets visit: http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/health/click_here_to_pre-register.html
- Wyoming County: Wednesday, July 20, at the Attica Town Highway Department, Route 98, Attica. The clinic runs from 6 to 8 p.m. (Registrations until 7:45 p.m.) This is a FREE clinic to Wyoming County residents ~ Donations are gratefully accepted! Out of county residents will be charged $10 per animal.
- Orleans County: Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Shelby Highway Department, 4062 Shelby Basin Road, Medina. The clinic runs from 9 to 11:30 a.m. You must arrive no later than 11:30 to ensure that you will be served. Clinic staff reserves the right to decline service to late (after 11:30) arrivals. To pre-register go to https://apps.health.ny.gov/doh2/applinks/cdmspr/ this site will have an Orleans County button/link before the scheduled clinics.
For information on Health Department services contact,
Genesee County Health Department at: 344-258,0 ext. 5545 or visit their website at www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/health/index.html. Visit Facebook at Genesee County Health Department and Twitter at GeneseeCoHealthDept.
Wyoming County Health Department at: 786-8890 or visit their web site at www.wyomingco.net/health/main.html.
Orleans County Health Department at: 589-3278 or check out our website at: www.orleansny.com/publichealth.
Visit Facebook and Twitter: the user name for both is OrleansCoHealth.