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Rabies Alert: Skunks, Raccoon Attack People, Pets

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- A skunk that chased a man cleaning his truck in Mamaroneck was one of five animals found to be rabid in the last week, according to a Westchester County Department of Health press release Thursday.

The health department issued a rabies alert to anyone who may have come into contact with a rabid skunk in Mamaroneck, Scarsdale, Ossining or Katonah or a raccoon in Yorktown.

All five animals have been killed, including one that was sick and shaking on a front yard Thursday morning in Katonah in the Town of Bedford. The other four were behaving aggressively, including the Mamaroneck skunk, which was put down by the man being chased on Center Avenue. With the help of a co-worker, he killed the skunk using a medal rod. The man was not bitten, according the Village of Mamaroneck police blotter. No individuals came into direct contact with any of the animals, but two dogs in Yorktown and one in Ossining did when they were attacked on Sept. 8 and Sept. 9.

In Scarsdale, a skunk followed a dog around a yard on Brewster Road Sept. 13, but construction workers stepped in by throwing rocks to kill it.

“The good news is that no one that we know of was bitten or scratched by any of these rabid animals,” said Dr. Cheryl Archibald, Westchester County acting commissioner of health.

Unusual behavior may be the first sign of rabies in an animal, which can include extremely aggressive or extremely timid behavior, as well as staggering and frothing at the mouth, according to the press release. All animal bites or contact with animals suspected of having rabies have to be reported to the Westchester County Department of Health at 914-813-5000.

For more information on rabies and how to prevent it, click here .

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