Brewster, NY- Last Friday, June 23, in the area of Tanager Road and Wright Road in Mahopac, a gray tabby cat tested positive for rabies. The cat was seen earlier in contact with other cats in the area, according to reports to the Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH). Since rabies can spread through the saliva of an infected animal, other cats may be infected as well. Any person or pet who may have had physical contact with this cat, or other cats or wild animals in the area, should contact the Health Department immediately at 845-808-1390.
“Rabies is a potentially fatal disease, but the only way to get it is through a bite from a sick animal or saliva in an open wound,” interim Commissioner of Health Michael Nesheiwat, M.D., reminds residents. “All animal bites or contact with wild animals should be reported promptly to the Department of Health. To reduce your risk for rabies exposure, it’s best to avoid going near wild or stray animals and keep pets up to date on rabies vaccination.”
Ongoing programs to reduce the chance of spreading rabies include the Putnam County Feral Cat Task Force and the PCDOH- sponsored, free pet vaccination clinics. The next free rabies vaccination clinic will be held Saturday, July 15, at Hubbard Lodge, 2880 Route 9 in Cold Spring, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and is open to all Putnam County residents. Dogs must be leashed and well-controlled, and cats and ferrets must be in a carrier.
Please bring photo ID as proof of Putnam County residency, as well as written proof of prior rabies vaccination. Tags are not acceptable. If you do not have a written certificate documenting prior rabies vaccination, your pet will receive a one-year rabies vaccine. An animal information/release form will be available and can be completed at the clinic site. For more information and directions, please call the PCDOH at (845) 808-1390 ext. 43127.
The Department of Health’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth, and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.