ECDOH Vaccinates 4,635 Pets in 2016; Rabid Cat Attack in Eden Reinforces Vital Importance of Vaccinations

Modified: October 6, 2016 1:03pm

10/06/2016

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PRESS RELEASE

From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein

Date October 5, 2016                                

CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov

Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925

 ECDOH Vaccinates 4,635 Pets in 2016

Rabid Cat Attack in Eden Reinforces Vital Importance of Vaccinations

ERIE COUNTY, NY— The Erie County Department of Health (“ECDOH”), in collaboration with the Niagara Frontier Veterinary Society, the Medaille College Veterinary Technology program and the SPCA serving Erie County,  offered six free rabies vaccination clinics in 2016, vaccinating a total of 4,635 animals.graph

These joint efforts helped ensure the health and safety of pet dogs, cats and ferrets in Erie County and owner compliance with New York State law that requires rabies vaccinations for all cats, dogs and domesticated ferrets no later than four months after birth.

“Our Vector Control team and our volunteers are to be commended for their tireless efforts at our efficient and highly productive rabies clinics. Rabies remains a very serious disease as it is nearly always fatal once symptoms are evident,” stated Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health. “It is still a serious public health concern, as was exhibited by a rabid cat attacking an individual in Eden just this week.”graph

“If anyone in the general area of New Oregon Road and Belcher Road in the town of Eden came in contact with a cat (described as a tan/apricot Tabby), or if anyone recently released a cat in that area fitting that description, contact us ASAP,”  said Peter Tripi, Senior Public Health Sanitarian. “They may be in need of Rabies Post-Exposure Prophylaxis vaccinations.  As a reminder, farm livestock are  at risk of contracting rabies so they should also be vaccinated. All pet dogs and cats, as well as “barn cats” must be vaccinated for the safety of both the public and their families. Any pet can be at risk of being infected if they are not vaccinated and come in contact with a rabid animal.”

Erie County residents are advised to not feed stray cats and wild life so they are not attracted to their properties, as well as not to approach or handle these animals. To report an encounter with an animal that may have rabies, contact the ECDOH Vector Control staff at 716.961.6800 during business hours, or 716.961.7898 after hours. 

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For More Information:

Erie County Department of Health

New York State Department of Health

Medaille College Veterinary Technology Program

The SPCA serving Erie County