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Health Alert: TCEH Seeks Info About a Dog Bite at Mulholland Wildflower Preserve (City of Ithaca)

(ITHACA, NY, November 29, 2023) – Tompkins County Whole Health’s Environmental Health Division (EH) must locate a dog that bit a person on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, at approximately 4:30 PM, on a trail in the Mulholland Wildflower Preserve, in the City of Ithaca. The dog was described as a large black Labrador Retriever or Labrador mix. The dog was accompanied by a person presenting as a woman with long hair, and a second dog described as a brown labradoodle smaller than the black dog. Both dogs were on leashes.

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. Our next clinic is scheduled for Wednesday, January 17, 2024 – preregister online for an appointment at: tompkinscountyny.gov/health/rabies.
  • 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: tompkinscountyny.gov/health/eh/rabies.

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 TompkinsCountyNY.gov/health, and follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/TompkinsWholeHealth and on Twitter at @TCWholeHealth. Get Whole Health updates or other county announcements via email or text, sign up here.

Media contact: Shannon Alvord, salvord@tompkins-co.org