WPCNR HEALTH ALERT. From the Westchester County Department of Health. March 1, 2018:
The Westchester County Department of Health is alerting residents that a coyote has attacked people and pets in the vicinity of Kent Ave, Overlook Drive and Clarewood Drive in Hastings-on-Hudson and the Homefield section of Yonkers.
These attacks occurred on Wednesday evening and Thursday; the coyote has not been captured.
Due to its aggressive behavior, the coyote is believed to be rabid. The Health Department is notifying residents in the area to not approach the animal, to contact police if they see it and to take precautions with pets.
“Stay alert and closely supervise children and pets when outside,” said Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD. “If you observe this coyote, do not approach it and make sure to contact local police immediately.”
Unusual behavior may be the first sign of rabies in an animal. A rabid animal may become either abnormally aggressive or unusually tame. It may lose fear of people and become excited and irritable, or appear particularly passive and lethargic. Staggering and frothing at the mouth are sometimes noted.
Residents who see a stray or wild animal acting strangely should avoid contact with the animal and alert local authorities to avoid possible exposure to rabies. Residents are also advised to keep their trash can lids securely sealed and avoid leaving pet food outdoors.
Any physical contact with a wild or unfamiliar animal should be reported to a health care provider. All animal bites or contacts with animals suspected of having rabies must be reported to the Westchester County Department of Health at (914) 813-5000, 24 hours a day.
Keeping pet rabies vaccinations up to date is also important for protection against rabies. New York State law requires dogs, cats and ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies and receive regular booster shots. For more information, go to www.westchestergov.com/health or call the RABIES INFOLINE at (914) 813-5010.