Two more people who were bit by the rabid fox have come forward after the Westchester County Department of Health issued an alert to the community Wednesday, that a fox that bit two residents in Peekskill last Saturday, tested positive for rabies. The two subsequent residents who were bit were not receiving treatment for rabies, but are now under a doctor’s care. 

Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, said: “If you are bitten or scratched by a wild animal, you must immediately contact the Westchester County Health Department – your life depends on it.  Exposure to rabies when left untreated can lead to death. In this case the two subsequent individuals saw the news reports about the rabid fox and called the Health Department. That one news report and one phone call – quite literally saved their lives.”

If you came in contact with the fox in Peekskill, please call the Westchester County Department of Health

at (914) 813-5000, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

People should avoid all contact with all wild animals – especially baby wild animals.

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.

Amler 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 contact 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 INFO-LINE at (914) 813-5010.