Saturday, May 24, 2014
 

 

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Baby raccoons left on health department steps prompts alert

WHITE PLAINS – Westchester County Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler issued an alert on Friday after five baby raccoons were left on the doorstep of the health department’s office in Mount Kisco that morning.

They were left in a cage with bottles of milk, blankets and toys.

“They appear to have been well cared for and nurtured, which means that there was direct contact between these raccoons and the person or people who were caring for them,” Dr. Amler said.   “We just would like to contact the person who left the raccoons so we could found out the condition of the mother, what happened to the mother – did the mother get sick and die, did the mother potentially have had rabies; the person who handled these babies, was there any bite situation, any potential exposure.”

The babies appear to be healthy and were placed with a certified wildlife animal rehabilitator, where they will remain in hopes that their caregiver can be located and evaluated.

The only way to confirm an animal has rabies is by euthanizing it and testing its brain tissue, a step the health department is trying to avoid.

Dr. Amler’s concern is that rabies is a fatal disease through the bite or saliva of infected animals, most commonly infected raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes. Domestic animals such as cats and dogs are also at risk because they can easily contract rabies from wild or stay animals.

Anyone bitten by a rabid animal, or having contact with its saliva, may need to receive post-exposure rabies vaccination.