raccoons, rabies, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
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NYC Health Department issues rabid raccoon alert in Brooklyn

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BENSONHURST, Brooklyn (PIX11) — The New York City Health Department has put out a rabid raccoon alert for Bensonhurst, putting residents and pet owners on edge.

A dead rabid raccoon was found in the 7800 block of 16th Avenue. Prior to the animal's death, it attacked some stray cats in the neighborhood, so health officials say it's possible the cats have been infected with rabies, though some kittens that were trapped don't have the disease.

One local man recently found raccoon paw prints on the hood of his Honda.

Health officials are asking residents to stay away from wild animals, especially if they look sick or act strangely, and to keep dogs on a leash and cats inside. If bitten, wash the wound right away and call a doctor. Also call 311 to report raccoon bites or any sightings of sick animals. Residents should be equally vigilant day and night and should never feed raccoons.