PLATTSBURGH — A raccoon shot by a resident in the Town of Black Brook Thursday has tested positive for rabies, the first in Clinton County in 15 years.
The animal was killed on Dry Bridge Road, a few miles from an area in Essex County where other rabid animals have recently been found, said Rita Mitchell, principal public health sanitarian for the Clinton County Health Department.
The person who shot the raccoon contacted the Health Department to report that it was acting strangely, she said.
Earlier this summer, a bat also tested positive for rabies in Clinton County, but this is not unusual because a small percentage of bats in New York state are always rabies positive, according to a statement from the Health Department.
Rabies is 100 percent fatal to all mammals, including humans.
Here are some safety tips: Report wildlife that is sick or acting strangely and also animal bites to humans or pets to the health department of jurisdiction; have pets and livestock vaccinated, do not feed or approach wild or stray animals; keep garbage cans tightly covered; avoid storing food outside; and don’t transport wildlife.
Clinton County Health Department rabies clinics start Sept. 27, free for residents, with donations accepted. Animals must be on a leash or in a carrier. All pets must be at least 3 months old to receive their first rabies vaccination, be vaccinated a year later, then at least every three years after that for the rest of their lives. Bring your pet’s vaccination records to the clinic.
Clinics, all held from 6 to 8:30 p.m., take place: Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Rouses Point Fire Station; Tuesday, Oct. 2, at the Saranac Fire Station; Thursday, Oct. 4, at the Beekmantown Fire Station; Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the Morrisonville Fire Station; Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Ellenburg Depot Fire Station; Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Peru Fire Station; Thursday, Oct. 18, at the Chazy Fire Station; and Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the Keeseville Fire Station.