The following was submitted by a Yorktown resident:
I was hoping that County Executive Rob Astorino would get involved in the rabies coverup by the Department of Health and my town as well as helping to find a solution to the rampant spread of rabies in Westchester which thus far has made it the State’s top location for rabies cases. I live in Yorktown Heights and have 3 young children. Last year my next door neighbor who feeds wild animals including feral cats was attacked by a rabid raccoon. The Westchester County Department of Health as well as the Yorktown Police and Town Board REFUSED to issue a rabies public warning of any kind in my town or local neighborhood which includes many children and pets. The only reason I found out about the rabies next door was that I heard the gunshots the police fired to kill the rabid raccoon. I know of other instances in my town where animals that appeared to be rabid were shot and NOT tested as well as cases where rabid appearing animals were called in to police and not found and no warnings ever issued. This includes a rabid appearing stray dog on Turkey Mountain as reported by a hiker to local police this year. Westchester County already has the highest reported number of rabies cases in the state … Imagine what that number would be if ALL the rabid appearing animals being killed or ignored by police were actually tested!!
I believe the reason that rabies is rampantly spreading is due to the fact that there are unprecedented numbers of wild cats in Westchester. This is NOT occurring naturally in nature but is the direct result of human intervention. The fact that rabies is spreading is because food that people put out to feed feral cats is also being shared by all sorts of other wild animals. This mingling of saliva as well as any physical interaction that is occurring amongst the unnaturally large numbers of wild cats and all other wild animals adds up to the rampant spread of rabies in Westchester. Also any feral cats that are part of a TNR or trap neuter and return program are NOT NOT being given the NYS Department of Health required rabies booster within 1 year of the initial shot AND a new booster shot every 1 – 3 years after! And so each and every feral cat EVEN if it is part of a TNR program is capable of getting AND spreading rabies! I’ve contacted the Westchester County Department of Health as well as the Yorktown Town Board as well as the Yorktown police about the aforementioned issues on multiple occasions over the past few years to no avail. Without intervention the rabies existing in Westchester is only going to get worse… And so I am pleading with County Executive Rob Astorino to please get involved.