Q1. Isn't the rabies threat over in Sullivan County?
Answer: NO. Rabies will remain in Sullivan County. Your best protection against rabies is a well vaccinated pet community. Raccoons, skunks, and foxes are the animals most often infected with rabies in Sullivan County. If you see a wild animal, or a domestic animal acting strangely, (too tame OR too aggressive) keep your distance and keep your pets and children inside. If you are being threatened, call your local police or sheriff's department. Call Sullivan County Public Health Services with any questions, day or night at (845) 292-5910.
Q2. How often does my dog or cat need a rabies shot?
Answer: The first time he or she gets a shot, your pet must be at least 3 months old. The first rabies shot must be repeated in 1 year. Thereafter, if your vet is using 3 year vaccine, your pet will need to be vaccinated every 3 years. A pet whose rabies booster has waited more than 3 years is considered UNVACCINATED. Some vets prefer to vaccinate every year with a one year vaccine. Check with your veterinarian.
Q3. A bat was flying around in my son's bedroom while he was sleeping. What should I do?
Answer: 96% of bats tested in New York State are not rabid. If you can catch the bat, do so. It must be tested . If the bat has escaped, since it can't be tested for rabies, the recommendation of the New York State Department of Health is to vaccinate your son because he was asleep and might have been bitten in his sleep. Call Public Health Services for information on how to proceed.
Q4. My dog got into a fight with a wild animal, and the animal ran off. What do I do?
Answer: Get a rabies booster for your dog within 5 days. If your dog is unvaccinated, he or she may have to be confined in a special enclosure for 6 months, or destroyed. Call Public Health Services to receive direction. KEEP YOUR PETS VACCINATED AGAINST RABIES!