The following statement was issued by the County Health Department Tuesday:
The Westchester County Department of Health is issuing a rabies alert to residents who may have had contact with a rabid stray cat in Elmsford, on Winthrop Avenue between White Plains Avenue and Payne Street, on or before Friday, July 27. The health department used robo-calls to notify residents who live within a quarter-mile of the area where the cat was found.
The cat was an adult charcoal gray short-haired cat with yellowish-green eyes and a dirty coat. It had tried to attack a woman and a man in the neighborhood before it attacked a police officer, who had responded to a call and then shot the cat. Testing confirmed the cat was rabid. The officer has already begun post-exposure rabies treatment. There was no other known contact with people or pets.
Direct contact with wild or stray animals, even baby animals, is inadvisable, Health Department officials advise.
Residents are also reminded not to feed wild or stray animals to avoid bringing rabies to their doorstep. Parents should teach children not to touch unfamiliar animals and to immediately tell an adult if they have been bitten or scratched by an animal. 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.