LOCKPORT – Niagara County has reported its first confirmed case of rabies this year: a raccoon killed by a dog in a fight Monday.
It happened on East Avenue in Gasport, Environmental Health Director James J. Devald said Wednesday. The diagnosis of rabies was confirmed by testing of the raccoon’s brain at the State Health Department’s laboratory in Albany, Devald said.
Last year, the county had nine confirmed rabid animals: four raccoons, two skunks and three bats.
County officials urged residents to avoid all contact with wild animals, including feeding them. The Health Department said pet dogs and cats’ rabies vaccinations should be kept up to date – the county will hold five free immunization clinics this year, with the next one set for June 6 at the Hyde Park Pavilion in Niagara Falls – and said all animal bites should be reported to the Health Department at 439-7444 during business hours or 439-7430 after hours.