WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, provides tips for residents to know how to protect themselves, their families and their pets.
“If a bat gets into your home, capture and contain it and call the Health Department immediately," Amler said. "That way, if you, a pet or a family member was exposed, the bat can be tested for rabies, which can help you and your family avoid a series of rabies shots.”
What can you do to keep animals away from and out of your home?
• Always make sure doors and windows are secure and that any small openings that will allow an animal entrance into your home are closed off. This includes screening, chimneys, attic vents, and air conditioners.
• If a bat finds its way into your house, confine or capture it (without further exposing yourself) for possible rabies testing. Never release a bat due to the possibility of pet or human exposure. Instead, call the health department at 914-813-5000 to arrange for testing.
• Remove any potential outside food sources that could attract animals.
• Bring pet food and water dishes inside.
• Do not put on the ground any food for birds such as seed or crumbs.
• Do not leave food outside unattended.
• Cover garbage cans securely.
For more information, visit the Health Department’s website at www.westchestergov.com/health.