This week, wildlife experts of Cornell University and the United States Department of Agriculture will be helping Staten Island to curb rabies in raccoon populations. Using a helicopter, raccoon populations in different areas can be located so that the biologists can distribute Oral Rabies Vaccine to the raccoons. Bait packets will be placed in sewers, woods, and other areas highly populated by raccoons. The small packets will smell of fish to deter humans and attract the raccoons. When bitten, the medicine is released, vaccinating the raccoon. A similar vaccination procedure was taken in Cape May County, New Jersey, in May of this year.
Keep dogs and cats indoors during this time, as they may be attracted to the bait. Keep your dogs and cats vaccinated for rabies, your pet will need a new shot every 1-4 years. The Oral Rabies Vaccine will not help vaccinate your pet. To prevent contact with a rabid animal, keep cats indoors always, and never let a dog outside unattended. The Vaccine bait is not harmful to humans, but the medicine may cause a rash or irritation. If you come in contact with the liquid, call poison control at 1-800-222-1222.