The Westchester County Department of Health is issuing an alert to the community after a fox that bit two residents in Peekskill last Saturday, now tested positive for rabies. Both residents, who were together during the incident, are currently receiving preventive treatment for rabies.

The Westchester County Health Department is reminding residents that unusual behavior in an animal may be the first sign of rabies. A rabid animal may become either abnormally aggressive or unusually tame. It may lose fear of people, become excited, irritable, or appear particularly passive and lethargic. Staggering and frothing at the mouth are sometimes noted.

Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, said: “If you see an animal that is acting aggressively, stay away from it and contact local police immediately. And if you are bitten or scratched, call the Health Department right away.”

Residents should never approach or have contact with a stray or wild animal.  Residents who see a stray or wild animal acting strangely should alert local authorities to avoid possible exposure to rabies. Residents are also advised to keep their trashcan lids securely sealed, remove wild bird feeders, 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 or call the RABIES INFOLINE at (914) 813-5010.