CHENANGO, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The Chenango County Health Department has issued a rabies advisory for the county as rabies has been identified in local wildlife.

The health department says that any wild animal acting strangely in close proximity to residential areas should be considered dangerous.

According to the health department, you should take the following precautions to protect yourself, your family, and your pets from the virus.

  • Vaccinate your pets for rabies! Pet dogs & cats should be up-to-date on rabies vaccinations & dogs should be wearing current license tags on their collar. For information on rabies vaccination for your pets, please call your local veterinarian or Chenango County Environmental Health at 607-337-1673.
  • If your pet has interaction with any rabies suspect animal DO NOT handle your pet. If you must attend to your pet wear gloves, long sleeves and use extreme caution. You can be exposed to rabies from lingering saliva on a pet’s fur. The pet should be isolated and the saliva allowed to dry, this will kill the virus.
  • Keep pets on a leash when outside a fenced yard!
  • Enjoy wildlife from a distance! Do not attempt to feed, approach, or touch wild animals. Do NOT kill healthy appearing animals merely due to this warning. If you see a wild mammal acting abnormally* in this area, report it to Chenango County Environmental Health at 607-337-1673.
  • Do NOT trap and relocate skunks! Doing so spreads rabies to other areas. If you have a nuisance animal contact a professional wildlife control agent.
  • If you or a loved-one is bitten by an animal (wild or domestic), wash the exposed site immediately with soap and water & seek medical care. Be sure to report the bite to public health officials.

For more information, contact the Chenango County Environmental Health Department at 607-337-1673.