Local health departments are warning about an animal that tested positive for rabies after the animal attacked a pet dog.

The Sullivan County Public Health Services announced that a skunk tested positive for the rabies virus in the Town of Rockland. The skunk attacked a family’s dog.

This is the third confirmed case of animal rabies in Sullivan County in 2016. The other cases involved a raccoon and a cat.

According to the Sullivan County Public Health Department, the rabies virus is considered endemic and occurs commonly in wild animals throughout New York State, with the vast majority of rabies cases reported each year in bats, foxes, skunks and woodchucks. Domestic animals account for less than 10 percent of the reported rabies cases, which most often include cats, cattle, and dogs.

The Public Health Department also released what you can do to protect you and your pets from rabies:

•Be sure your dogs, cats and ferrets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations.

• Don't try to separate two fighting animals.

• Don't feed, touch or adopt wild animals, stray dogs or stray cats.

• Encourage children to immediately tell an adult if they are bitten by any animal.

• If a wild animal is on your property, let it wander away.

• If you can safely do so, don't let an animal escape that has possibly exposed someone to rabies.

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