COLUMBIA CO. (NEWS10) — Columbia County officials are alerting residents about rabies awareness. This comes after a recent incident reported by the Columbia County Health Department where a fox attacked a woman in Germantown. The incident resulted in a post exposure rabies vaccination because the fox tested positive for rabies.
The Columbia County D.O.H. reported a sharp increase in the number of confirmed cases involving rabid animals that began in the spring time as temperatures increased. Officials tested raccoons where it was found that six out of seven of the tested were positive for rabies.
According to Environmental Health Director Ed Coons, “ The danger of rabies is not limited to raccoons, as the animals are most likely to come into contact with other mammals, such as skunks, foxes and feral cats. The recent attack suggests this contact between the mammals most likely caused the fox to be positive for rabies.”
Any potential rabies exposure to any wild or stray animal should be reported to the Columbia County Health Department 518-828-3358. Mr. Coons also added, “Prevention continues to be the best way to avoid a possible exposure.”
Prevention begins with the Pet owner. According to New York State Public Health law, dogs, cats and ferrets kept as pets must be immunized against rabies by their owner(s), defined as, “any person keeping, harboring or having charge or control of, or permitting any dog, cat or domesticated ferret to remain on or to be lodged or fed within such person’s house, yard, or premises.”
The Columbia County Department of Health has two more rabies clinics scheduled for cats, dogs and ferrets. Pet owners are strongly encouraged to get their pet vaccinated. There is no charge to Columbia County residents.
Below is a list of dates, times, and locations where pet owners can go to get their animals vaccinated:
October 2 (Wed) Claverack Town Park
Cats and Ferrets 4:00 – 5:00
Dogs 5:00 – 6:00 Mountain View Animal Hospital
Church Street, Mellenville
November 2 (Sat) Kinderhook Town Hall
Cats and Ferrets 2:00 – 3:00 Dr. S. Gagliardi
Dogs 3:00 – 4:00 Chatham Small Animal Hospital
3211 Church Street, Valatie – Martin H. Glynn School