5 baby raccoons left in Mt. Kisco may have rabies; caretaker must come forward

5 baby raccoons appear to have been well cared for but caretaker needs to step forward to assess rabies risk.

The Westchester County Department of Health is urging the person(s) who left five baby raccoons on the doorstep of their Mount Kisco office to call the department of health immediately (914) 813-5000 to determine whether they need lifesaving treatment for rabies.

As cute as these raccoons appear, direct contact with any wild or stray animal is discouraged because of rabies risk. So far, the five baby raccoons appear healthy but they are still being observed.

Dr. Sherlita Amler, Commissioner of Health, commented on the good condition the animals were left in-and why that indicates the need for their caretaker to step forward.

"The raccoons were left on our doorstep in a cage with bottles of milk, blankets and toys. They appear to have been well cared for and nurtured, which means that there was direct contact between these raccoons and the person or people who were caring for them. That's why it's important that we talk to the individual or individuals who left them to determine if they may have been potentially exposed to rabies."

Rabies is a fatal disease that is transmitted through a bite or scratch from an infected animal. It is treatable in the initial stages however, that is why early detection is crucial.

Raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats are the animals most commonly infected but even domestic animals like dogs and cats can be infected if they've come into contact with a rabid animal. Pet owners are required by New York State law to get their dogs, cats and ferrets vaccinated against the disease.

Symptoms of rabies infection in an animal include abnormally aggressive or lethargic behavior. The animal may also stagger and froth at the mouth.

For more information visit the Health Department's website at http://health.westchestergov.com/. Suspected rabies infections can be reported to the Westchester County Department of Health at (914) 813-5000, 24 hours a day.

Related Topics:
petsrabiesraccoonsMount KiscoNew York
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