Pet owners beware! The threat of a rabid animal attack is still very real and a tragic example of this happened in Madison County.

The Madison County Health Department announced Monday the disturbing attack that occurred in the Town of Cazenovia. Health officials say a woodchuck was collected in the town and it was confirmed the animal was infected with rabies. This collection was the first confirmed rabies case in the county of 2024, but it came with tragic results.

Officials say the infected woodchuck attacked and bit an unvaccinated cat and as a result of the attack, the cat had to be euthanized. That is never an easy decision but there was no other option. Madison County Director of Environmental Health Aaron Lazzara says,

Residents should be on alert for aggression or odd behaviors in animals. Play it safe and avoid contact with any wild animals and pets you don’t know. Keep your pets safe by keeping them vaccinated from rabies.

This is just one more reminder that you need to be hyper vigilant and always be prepared. The health department recommends taking the following steps to keep you, your family and family pets safe.

  • Never feed or approach a wild animal – even if it appears to be harmless.
  • Be careful of pets that you do not know. If you see a stray dog or cat, don´t pet it.
  • Supervise children while interacting with animals.

If you do come in contact with a wild animal or are bitten by one you must immediately clean your hands or the bite thoroughly. If the wound is significant make sure you see a doctor as soon as possible. Even a scratch from a wild animal may warrant a trip to the doctor.

If you happen to encounter a possibly rabid animal you are urged to report any incidents of animal scratches or bites to the Madison County Public Health at 315-366-2526.

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