The Rockland County Department of Health is alerting residents that a skunk in Clarkstown  has tested positive for rabies, after coming into contact with a County resident’s dog.  Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). “We want residents to be aware that even during the winter months, wild animals are out in the community, and can come into contact with people and pets.  It is very important to make sure that your pets (dogs, cats and ferrets) are up-to-date with their rabies vaccinations,” said Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, Rockland County Commissioner of Health.

Vaccination protects pets if they are exposed to rabid animals. Pets too young to be vaccinated should be kept indoors and allowed outside only under direct observation. The Health Department will offer free rabies shots (vaccinations) for cats, dogs and ferrets on Sunday, April 26, 2015 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Rockland County Fire Training Center, 35 Firemen’s Memorial Drive in Pomona. (Additional rabies clinics will be held Sunday, July 12 and Sunday, October 4, 2015). For more information call 845-364-2594.

 In addition, follow these safety tips: 

  • Don’t feed, touch or adopt wild animals, stray dogs or cats.
  • Report all animal bites or contact with wild animals to the Health Department at 845-364-2585 (between 9 am – 5 pm, Monday to Friday).  After 5 pm or on holidays or weekends call 845-364-8600.
  • If possible, do not let any animal escape that has possibly exposed someone to rabies.
  • Keep family pets indoors at night. Don’t leave them outside unattended or let them roam free.
  • Don’t try to separate two fighting animals. Wear gloves if you handle your pet after a fight.
  • Don’t attract wild animals to your home or yard. Keep your property free of stored bird seed or other foods that may attract wild animals. Feed pets indoors. Tightly cap or put away garbage cans. Board up any openings to your attic, basement, porch or garage. Cap your chimney with screens.
  • If nuisance wild animals are living in parts of your home, consult with a nuisance wildlife control expert about having them removed. You can find wildlife control experts, who work on a fee-for-service basis, in your telephone directory under pest control.
  • Teach children not to touch any animal they do not know and to tell an adult immediately if they are bitten by any animal.
  • If a wild animal is on your property, let it wander away. Bring children and pets indoors and alert neighbors who are outside. You may contact a nuisance wildlife control expert who will remove the animal for a fee.

For more information call the Health Department at 845-364-2594, or visit the New York State Department of

Health website at

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