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Health Alert: TCEH Seeks Information About a Dog Bite on Highland Ave (City of Ithaca)

(ITHACA, NY, March 12, 2024) – Tompkins County Whole Health’s Environmental Health Division (EH) must locate a dog that bit a person on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, at approximately 1:00 PM, on Highland Avenue, near Westbourne Lane, in the City of Ithaca. The dog was described as a medium sized black dog with short, thick hair and upright ears on an orange leash. The dog was accompanied by a person presenting as a woman with shoulder length, light colored hair, wearing a faded dark green coat, and a second dog described as white with brown and black spotting, thick, short coat and upright ears of a similar size to the black dog.

EH seeks to verify vaccination status and health of the biting dog through an at home observation over a ten-day period. If the dog can be located and observed to be healthy by EH, the risk of rabies infection can be ruled out and rabies post-exposure treatment for the person who was bitten will not be necessary.

Anyone with information regarding this dog is urged to call EH at (607) 274-6688. Staff are available at this number to take calls related to rabies and bites, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We would like to remind the public the importance of getting bites checked as soon as possible to determine if rabies post-exposure treatment is needed.

Tompkins County Whole Health reminds everyone to:

  • Avoid contact with any unfamiliar cats or dogs and any wild animals.
  • All cats, dogs and ferrets must have initial rabies vaccinations administered no later than four months of age.  Keep vaccinations current! Check our website for free rabies vaccination clinics.
  • Report the following incidents to Tompkins County Environmental Health at 607-274-6688:
  • All animal bites or scratches.
  • Any human or pet contact with saliva or other potentially infectious material (brain tissue, spinal tissue, or cerebrospinal fluid) of wild animals or any animal suspected of having rabies.
  • All bat bites, scratches, or any mere skin contact with a bat, or a bat in a room with a child, or sleeping or impaired person.

Further information can be found at:

Tompkins County Whole Health (formerly the Tompkins County Health Department) envisions a future where every person in Tompkins County can achieve wellness. Find us online at, and follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @TCWholeHealth. Get Whole Health updates or other county announcements via email or text, sign up here.

Media contact: Shannon Alvord,