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Rabid fox in Bethel

July 31, 2013

The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office is alerting citizens that a rabid fox was captured in the northeast section of the Town of Bethel last week.

On July 24, 2013 at approximately 10:30 AM, a resident on School House Road, which is just off of State Route 55 between Swan Lake and Kauneonga Lake, noticed a fox acting aggressively toward his dogs. The animal was subsequently destroyed and sent to a lab in Albany where it tested positive for rabies.

This incident highlights the need to vaccinate your pets and remain on alert for any animals that could come in contact with humans and spread the disease. Sullivan County Public Health is working closely with the Sheriff's Office on this issue and would like to remind residents of the following:

-Pets must receive regular rabies vaccine or a confrontation with a rabid animal will lead to a six month strict confinement under observation at your expense or euthanization of your pet.

-Pets should be kept inside and when outside be under observation in a enclosed area or on a leash at all times.

-Keep children away from wildlife even if it appears tame.

-The rabies virus is carried in saliva and nervous tissue, not in blood. If your animal has a confrontation with a fox or other wildlife, once you and your pet are safe, you should check your animal for wounds. It is very important that you wear latex gloves while checking to avoid being exposed to possibly infected saliva.

-A vaccinated pet is a safety buffer between rabid wildlife and you.

-Do not attempt to confront a wild animal acting aggressively or of the type that is not normally out during the day: go inside and call 911 immediately.

Call Sullivan County Public Health for information about rabies clinics and for literature or advice about rabies.: 845-292-5910.