SOMERS, N.Y.-The staff at Muscoot Farm went to do morning farm chores on March 1 and noticed a sheep laying in the field and two others limping, according to the office of the Westchester County Executive.
There was no siting of a coyote, but the farm staff believe the attack was caused by one. The attack on the sheep appears to have occurred in the early morning hours before farm staff arrived. A veterinarian was called to take care of the two injured sheep.
The deceased sheep was buried in the pet cemetery on farm property. The two that were hurt were immediately moved into the barn to wait for the veterinarian to come. The remainder of the sheep were moved inside the barn, as well.
The injured sheep were tended to by the veterinarian.
The county Health Department is notifying people that if they see a coyote to not approach it and to contact police and take precautions with pets.
Unusual behavior may be the first sign of rabies in an animal. A rabid animal may become either abnormally aggressive or unusually tame. It may lose fear of people and become excited and irritable, or appear particularly passive and lethargic. Staggering and frothing at the mouth are sometimes noted.
Residents who see a stray or wild animal acting strangely should avoid contact and alert local authorities to avoid possible exposure to rabies. Residents are also advised to keep their trash can lids securely sealed and avoid leaving pet food outdoors.
Any physical contact with a wild or unfamiliar animal should be reported to a health care provider. All animal bites or contacts with animals suspected of having rabies must be reported to the Westchester County Department of Health at 914-813-5000, 24 hours a day.
Keeping pet rabies vaccinations up to date is also important for protection against rabies. New York State law requires dogs, cats and ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies and receive regular booster shots. For more information, go to www.westchestergov.com/health or call the Rabies Infoline at 914-813-5010.