I found a dead rat (or other animal) on my property. Can the Health Department come out and pick it up?

The Erie County Department of Health does not have a service to come out to your property to remove dead rats (or other animals).  It is acceptable to pick up a dead rat with a shovel or gloved hand and bag it into your regular trash container.

What to do with other dead animals

  • If you suspect that your pet killed an animal such as a raccoon, skunk, fox, woodchuck, opossum, etc., contact the ECDOH Rabies Prevention Program at 716-961-6800 to discuss rabies risk to you or your pet. The animal may need to be tested for rabies and your pet’s rabies vaccination may need a booster.
  • To report unusual health matters of wildlife contact NYSDEC Fish & Wildlife at 716-851-8010.
  • Some local municipalities have a Dog Control Officer or an Animal Control Officer who may be able to assist you. Check with your Village, Town or City.
  • Never touch wildlife – alive or dead – with your bare hands.

If you find a bat in your home

  • Bats are presumed to be rabid but not all bats have rabies so, if you have a bat encounter and you have captured a bat, keep the bat and contact ECDOH to determine if the bat needs to be tested for rabies. Remember to wear heavy leather gloves to prevent direct contact with the bat.
  • If you were not able to capture the bat that you had an encounter with, contact ECDOH anyways to determine your rabies exposure risk and possible need for Rabies Post Exposure Prophylaxis.
  • FAQ: "There is a bat in my house. What should I do?"
  • Flyer: Bats & Rabies

Frequently Requested



Phone: (716) 858-7690

Fax: (716) 858-8701

Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH)
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

ECDOH Locations