Authorities are warning residents to have their pets vaccinated and to keep a safe distance from wildlife.

Rabies is commonly found in wild animals across New York State, but one local find is giving local residents a reminder of how dangerous the disease can be for families. A raccoon recently killed in Pond Eddy tested positive for the rabies virus.

People or pets who have had recent contact with wild animals should be tested for rabies. The disease can be passed from dogs and cats to humans, that's why health officials are stressing the need for vaccinations.

Dogs, cats and ferrets over three months of age can receive a rabies vaccination that is effective for a one-year period. After that, revaccinations are effective for up to three years. Officials say that pets too young to be vaccinated should be kept indoors.

Sullivan County will be holding a free rabies clinic for dogs, cats and ferrets on Wednesday, June 5, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Morningside Park in Hurleyville.

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