Rabid fox attacks cat

WHITESTOWN — A gray fox that attacked a domestic cat was rabid, according to the county Health Department.

"The animal was first reported to be running around in a residential area near Judd Road on Wednesday and then attacked a cat in the same neighborhood the following day," said Bobbi Jo Kahl, Health Department rabies prevention and treatment program coordinator. "Whitestown police were able to destroy the fox. The test performed at the New York State Health Department’s Wadsworth Laboratories confirmed the rabies virus. This is the second such finding in a fox this year."

According to Kahl, the cat involved in the attack is not current on its rabies vaccinations and must be quarantined for six months.

"This is yet another case that underscores the importance of keeping family pets current on their rabies vaccinations," Kahl said. She also reminded pet owners not to leave their pets leashed and unattended outdoors or to leave pet food dishes in the yard where they might attract wild animals.

State Health Law requires all dogs, cats and ferrets, 3 months and older be vaccinated against rabies. Dogs and cats require two vaccines 12 months apart and then one every three years. Ferrets must be vaccinated each year. The county Health Department conducts a series of rabies clinics throughout the year. The next clinic is scheduled for 5-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 25, at the Cassville Firehouse. A $10 donation is requested to help defray costs.

There have been six confirmed cases of rabies in Oneida County thus far in 2012. Previous cases involved three raccoons, a bat and another grey fox.

For more information on rabies prevention visit www.ocgov.net/oneida/health or call 798-5064.