Volunteers urged to call health officials over rabies concerns at clinic

(AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
(AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

PENDLETON, N.Y. (WIVB) – Health officials are putting out a warning over concerns that some of the animals at Lakeview Animal Sanctuary may have had rabies.

The Niagara County Department of Health says animals that have the capability to transmit rabies were being housed at the clinic on Fiegle Road in the Town of Pendleton without proper licensing from the DEC.

Officials say volunteers fed and cared for the potentially infected animals that were harbored inside and outside of the property. Anyone who has helped at the sanctuary over the last six months is urged to contact the Niagara County Department of Health to discuss potential exposures.

Lakeview Animal Sanctuary responded to the health department’s warning on their Facebook page, writing, in part, “While LAS is commonly known for taking in abused and unwanted animals, Sandi is also a wildlife rehabilitator. The farm animals and wildlife are never in contact with each other. All the livestock and companion pets are up to date on rabies vaccinations. The likelihood of someone from the general public, or even a volunteer here at LAS contracting rabies from out petting zoo animals is slim to none. Rabies is spread through the contact of saliva. Meaning, a direct bite from an infected animal to a non-infected animal. You cannot contract rabies from petting an animal.”

Further information on rabies can also be found by calling health officials at 716-439-7444.