HelpContact UsFOILSite Map

Custom Navigation

Living in Tompkins County linkLearning in Tompkins County linkVisiting Tompkins County linkBusiness in Tompkins County linkTompkins County Government link

You are here:

You are here

> Catch the Bat Rabies Alert

 N E W S   R E L E A S E 

Your Partner for a Healthy Community
Frank Kruppa — Public Health Director


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

For more information contact:
Clayton Maybee or Adriel Shea at (607) 274-6688


Rabies Alert — Catch The Bat!

(ITHACA, N.Y., August 27, 2014) — The Tompkins County Health Department urges residents to avoid the risk of rabies and rabies treatment by capturing and submitting for laboratory testing any bat found in their home that may have come in contact with humans or pets. There have been two confirmed rabid bats in Tompkins County in 2014.

Rabies is largely transmitted through bites from rabid animals. Bats present an additional concern, because in certain situations a bite may not be readily apparent. This includes bats that are found in a room with a sleeping person or bats that are found in the presence of an unattended child or a person with a sensory impairment. Bats that have contact with pets that are lapsed or unvaccinated against rabies also present a concern.

If there is any chance that contact with a bat occurred to a person or pet, or you are not sure if contact occurred, capture the bat without touching it. If indoors, close windows, room and closet doors, turn on lights, and wait for the bat to land. Wearing heavy gloves, cover the bat with a pail, coffee can or similar container. If you spot a grounded bat outdoors, you can prevent further contact with people and pets by covering it with a pail or similar container. Immediately call the Tompkins County Health Department at (607) 274-6688. If the bat is not captured or tests positive for rabies, every person and pet that had a reasonable probability of exposure should receive rabies shots as soon as possible.

An 80-second video on the proper technique for safely capturing a bat found in one’s home is available on the New York State Department of Health website: Click Here (MP4, 4.1MB) or visit

To find out more:

- end -