What to Know
- The city has warned dog owners not to take their pets off the leash in Central Park in light of a distemper outbreak
- Eighty-five Central Park raccoons have fallen suck or succumbed to canine distemper virus this summer
- Dogs that haven't been vaccinated against distemper can be affected by the virus
The city is warning dog owners not to take their pets off the leash in Central Park in light of a distemper outbreak that has claimed the lives of dozens of raccoons.
Eighty-five Central Park raccoons have fallen sick or died this summer in an outbreak of canine distemper virus, the the city’s Parks and Health departments said.
The departments on Thursday released an advisory “strongly recommending that visiting dogs be kept on leashes.”
“The two agencies are specifically concerned about dogs in the park during dusk and dawn, off-leash hours, after two incidents where dogs had encounters with raccoons,” they noted.
Dogs that haven’t been vaccinated against distemper can be affected by the virus, the agencies said. Humans, however, can’t catch it, they noted.
Anyone who sees a sick or injured raccoon in Central Park should call 311 and report the creature to the NYC Park Rangers, the departments added.