This past weekend, I was talking to a lady who lives in Boston, N.Y., and she told me her daughter was attacked from behind by a feral cat.

Their home backs up to woods, and they had seen the cat before but didn't think a lot about it. The mother also told me that the cat had been seen fighting with a raccoon and at a neighbor's house where it tried to attack the homeowner's cat through their screen door.

According to the NYS Department of Environmental Heath, raccoon rabies reached New York in 1990 and has become widespread. If you come in contact with an animal that is behaving aggressively, is salivating heavily or has paralyzed hind legs, it could be rabid and could transmit rabies to humans and other animals by its bite.

This morning, I spoke to Pete Tripi, who is the Program Manager for the Erie County Department of Health's Rabies, Disease & Vector Control Program. He told me the most important thing to do if you or your animal comes in contact with another animal is to contact them as soon as possible at 716-961-6800.

If you kill the animal that you come in contact with (raccoon, bat, cat, dog, etc.), hold on to it so that it can be tested. There have been several animals in Erie County that have tested positive for rabies this year alone!

Rabid Animals in Erie County (Erie County Department of Health- 07/29/13)
Rabid Animals in Erie County (Erie County Department of Health -- 07/29/13

The other important message from the Erie County Department of Health (ECDH) is to get your animals vaccinated and keep them up to date! ECDH offers rabies clinics and low-cost spay/neuter clinics as well. Protect yourself, your animal and your community!

Here are some fact that you and your kids need to know about rabies.


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