The Putnam County Department of Health is made of several divisions all working towards improving and protecting the health of the entire community, through the lens of equity.
Rabies will result in death if it is left untreated in humans and domestic pet mammals. If a county resident (or visitor) has a potential rabies exposure, our trained rabies program staff makes a decision regarding treatment. Our nurses work with area health care providers and the exposed individuals to ensure accurate and timely completion of Rabies Post-Exposure Prophylaxis.
Nurses and environmental staff work with the local hospital and area health care providers to follow county residents through their Rabies prophylaxis regimen and completion of this protocol, in addition to providing educational presentations to the community as needed.
To report a possible rabies exposure in a person or pet, please complete the form below and fax it to 845-278-7921. All animal bites suspected of transmitting rabies are required to be reported to the health department within 24 hours by calling 845-808-1390. If calling after hours, holidays or weekends, dial 845-808-1390 and press 3.
Veterinarians requesting testing due to a bite or symptomatic animal, or who are looking for assistance with rabies titer testing for staff should call 845-808-1390.
Healthcare providers looking to discuss rabies treatment or prophylaxis for a patient should call 845-808-1390.
The Putnam County Department of Health partnered with Putnam AdvoCats, Inc. to create a Feral Cat Taskforce which involves the trapping, neutering, vaccinating and release of feral cats in the area. This is an attempt to address a growing health concern in the county. Feral cats are cats that do not have owners and may be strays and account for a significant number of required rabies treatments. The Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) concept is a humane and effective approach used for decades in the US after being proven in
Europe. Scientific studies show that this practice improves the lives of feral cats, improves their relationships with the people who live near them, and decreases the size of colonies over time. Working with volunteers from Putnam AdvoCats, Inc., and area veterinarians, the ultimate goal is to decrease the population of feral cats in our community over time and thereby reducing the risk of rabies. For help with feral cats or to report a feral cat colony, please call the health department at 845-808-1390.
Call the local police or during business hours call the Putnam County Health Department at (845) 808-1390.
If your pet has been in a fight with another animal, wear gloves to handle it. Isolate it from other animals and people for several hours. Call your veterinarian. Your vaccinated pet will need a booster dose of Rabies vaccine within five days of the exposure. Unvaccinated animals exposed to a known or suspected rabid animal must be confined for six months or humanely destroyed.
Each County health authority in New York State has a plan to respond to Rabies. Contact the health department at 845-808-1390 for details regarding human treatment and animal submission/shipment for testing. After hours, please call (845) 808-1390 ext. 3.
Four percent of bats test positive for Rabies. If there is any chance that the bat had contact with a person or pet, however, the bat should be captured and tested for rabies. If you find a bat in your house, call the Putnam County Health Department at (845) 808-1390
If there was any chance that contact with a person or pet occurred, or you are not sure if contact occurred, DO NOT release the bat. Call the Putnam County Health Department to arrange for the bat to be tested for rabies.
State law requires rabies vaccinations (shots) for all cats, dogs and domesticated ferrets!
Effective November 20, 2002, this information must be provided by pet dealers to consumers upon point of sale of cats, dogs, and ferrets.
If your dog, cat or domesticated ferret is not vaccinated, is not up-to-date on its vaccinations, or is not properly confined after biting someone, as the owner you will be subject to a fine not to exceed $200 for each offense.
The vaccination requirements shall not apply to any dog, cat, domesticated ferret if the animal is transported through New York state and remains in the state 15 days or less; the animal is confined to the premises of an incorporated society devoted to the care of lost, stray or homeless animals; a licensed veterinarian has determined that the vaccination will adversely affect the animal’s health; the animal is confined to the premises of a college or other educational or research institution for research purposes; or if the animal is un-owned (feral, wild, not socialized).
The law requires that your pet’s first rabies vaccination be given no later than four months after its date of birth. Many rabies vaccines are licensed for use at three months, although some may be given at younger ages.
Your pet should receive its second rabies vaccination within one year after the first vaccination. The second rabies shot and all shots thereafter are sometimes called booster shots.
After the second rabies shot, you only need to get additional booster shots every three years, if the vaccination clinic or your veterinarian is using a rabies vaccine licensed for three years.
The veterinarian, or a person under the veterinarian’s supervision, will provide you with a certificate as proof that your pet has been vaccinated. The veterinarian’s office will also keep a copy of your pet’s vaccination certificate. The law requires the veterinarian to provide the vaccination certificate to any public health official for any case involving your dog, cat or ferret that may have been exposed to rabies, or in any case of possible exposure of a person or another animal to rabies.
Whenever you bring your pet to a veterinarian, s/he will verify if the animal is up-to-date on its rabies shots. If the animal is not up-to-date on its rabies shots or is exempt due to a medical condition, or if the veterinarian cannot find proof of the animal’s rabies vaccination history, you may request your pet be vaccinated at that time.
If your pet bites a person and you wish to avoid euthanizing and testing it for rabies, it must be confined and observed for ten days. During the ten-day confinement period, the county or a designated party must verify that your pet is under confinement and observation, and has remained healthy during and at the end of the ten-day period.