Onondaga County Health Department Reminds Residents to Take Precautions Against Rabies During Warmer Months

ONONDAGA COUNTY, MAY 12, 2023 – As the warmer months approach, the Onondaga County Health Department is reminding residents to take precautions against rabies.

Onondaga County Commissioner of Health, Dr. Kathryn Anderson, explains that “Rabies is a deadly but preventable disease, and vaccinating our pets is the key to protecting our pets and ourselves. By taking simple precautions, we can reduce the risk of exposure and help keep our community safe.”

The Onondaga County Health Department recommends the following to prevent the spread of rabies:

  • Make sure that all pets are up to date on their rabies vaccinations. This is especially important for dogs and cats, as they can come into contact with wild animals. Appointments at an upcoming Onondaga County Health Department rabies shot clinic are available at https://ochdrabiesclinic.as.me/schedule.php.
  • Keep garbage cans tightly closed to prevent wild animals from accessing them. This will help reduce the risk of exposure to rabies.
  • Never approach or pet a wild or unfamiliar animal. Keep your distance from stray cats and dogs. Please also teach this to your children, and stress the importance of notifying an adult if they see an animal acting strangely.
  • Call your town or local municipality for guidance on how to remove stray or wild animals from your neighborhood.
  • Report animal bites. If you are bitten by an animal, seek medical attention immediately and report the bite to the Onondaga County Health Department at 315-435-3165.
  • Bat-proof your home:
    • Look for holes in places like the garage, attic, and basement and plug them with steel wool. Repair window screen holes with wire mesh and caulk any openings or cracks.
    • Trap any bat found in your home—do not let it escape outdoors. For a video on how to trap a bat visit ongov.net/health/env/rabies.html. Once the bat is caught, call the Animal Disease Control Program at 315-435-3165 to bring the bat in for testing at our Field Office on Route 31 in Clay. If you cannot trap the bat, call a local trapper for assistance.

By taking these simple precautions, residents can help protect themselves, their families, and their pets against rabies. For more information about rabies and how to prevent it, please visit ongov.net/health/env/rabies.html or see some helpful FAQs at ongov.net/health/env/documents/RabiesFAQ.pdf.