Department Name



Department of Health:
140 County Highway 33W
Suite #3  

Cooperstown, NY 13326

Phone: 607.547.4230
Fax: 607.547.4385

Office Hours:     8:30-4:30

Summer Hours: 9:00-4:00

                       (July - August)

After Hours : 607-547-1697



The mission of the Otsego County Health Department is to work in partnership with the community to improve and protect the health and well-being of all residents of Otsego County through health education, disease control and prevention, and public health preparedness.


                   Heidi Bond

  Public Health Director

The 2019 Living Healthier Expo is coming to the

Foothills Performing Arts Center In Oneonta

Visit to learn more about the event

or to become a supporter of the event.


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Rabies Prevention and Animal Testing


What is rabies?

Rabies is a fatal viral disease affecting the central nervous system.  It is transmitted from infected mammals to man.  Transmission is through the bite of an infected animal.  The virus can also be transmitted by contact with saliva to mucus membranes or an open wound that recently bled.  In the United States rabies is prevalent.  In Otsego County, animals test positive for rabies every year.

Which animals can be infected with rabies?

Any warm blooded mammals including man can be infected with rabies.  Commonly raccoons, skunks, fox, coyotes, and bats have rabies.  Domesticated animals such as dogs, cats, ferrets, cows, and horses can also be infected with rabies.

What are common signs of an animal infected with rabies?

A change in an animal’s behavior is usually the first sign of rabies.  A wild animal may appear tame or an usually friendly pet may become aggressive.  This is due to the virus attacking the part of the brain that controls behavior.  Other signs can be staggering, convulsions, frothing at the mouth, paralysis and a change in voice.

What are symptoms of rabies in humans?

Early symptoms include irritability, headache, fever and sometimes itching or pain at the site of exposure.  The disease eventually progresses to paralysis, spasms of the throat muscles, convulsions, delirium and death.

How can rabies be prevented in humans?

If you are exposed to rabies through the bite of an infected animal or suspected animal, rabies post exposure treatment is necessary.  Treatment for rabies requires prompt scrubbing of the bite, followed by the administration of rabies immune globulin (dosage dependent of weight) and four doses of rabies vaccine given in the arm muscle on days 0, 3, 7, and 14 after exposure.  If the wild animal is available for testing, due to the long incubation period, treatment can usually be delayed until rabies is confirmed.  Rabies can usually be confirmed in 2-3 days

Rabies is a fatal viral infection!

In both people and animals, once symptoms occur rabies is almost always fatal.  The incubation period is the time between exposure and onset of symptoms.  This can range from 10 days to months.  Once symptoms occur, treatment is ineffective.  Due to the long incubation time, disease can be prevented with intervention following a bite.  Vaccination of pets (dogs, cats and ferrets) and livestock offers protection against rabies.  There is no post exposure treatment for unvaccinated animals and these animals, if in contact with a rabid animal or suspected rabid animal, are required, by NYS law to be euthanized or kept in a double locked quarantine for 6 months at owner’s expense.

What if I am bit by a pet dog or cat?

If you are bitten by a pet, that animal needs to be observed for 10 days for signs of rabies.  NYS law requires all dogs, cats, and ferrets to be vaccinated for rabies.  Pet vaccination is the first line of defense for humans.  Pets may be confined, with the local health department’s approval, at home and observed by owners under the direction of the health department.  If you are bitten by a stray dog or cat, that animal needs to be safely captured and sent for rabies testing.

Education Resources


Click to view

Rabies Brochure


Click to view

Bats-When to catch them

& When to let them go


Download or View

Nuisance Wildlife Officers

These officers specialize in removing

nuisance animals like skungs, bats

or raccons from your premises



Download or View area

Dog Control Officers

These officers are the appointed

dog control officers for your township,

village or city

Rabies Coordinators

Kim Schlosser SPHN

Laura Bryant LPN

Mathew Johnson RN

How to Safely Catch a Bat

Instructions: To download a video, right click on the link and select "Save Target As.."


2018 Rabies Clinic Schedule

Date / Day




July 11 (Wed)

Morris Fire Department

6-8 PM

Dr. Zeh

August 14 (Tues)

Oneonta Neahwa Park Pavilion

6-8 PM

D. Puritz

September 11 (Tue)

Cherry Valley Town Barn

6-8 PM

Dr. Fassett

September 27 (Thur)

Burlington Flats Town Barn

6-8 PM

Dr. Hager

October 10 (Wed)

Otego Fire Department

6-8 PM

Dr. Puritz

December 5 (Wed)

Susquehanna Animal Shelter

4-6 PM

Dr. Puritz


Dogs, cats & ferrets may be taken to ANY CLINIC listed.

Call the Department of Health at 607-547-4230 with any questions

Otsego County

 Community HealthAssessment