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Rabid Fox Spent Night in Briarcliff Bedroom

The rabid fox that attacked people and dogs before running into a Briarcliff home and getting trapped in the bedroom, spent the entire night in the room, bleeding from the mouth, chewing on furniture and trying to attack anything that moved.

"An officer came up to try to look through the window and the fox attacked the window," Briarcliff police officer Michael Zazzini said.

The fox attacked two people on Chestnut Hill Lane, a dog on Long Hill Road and a woman on Austin Place on Wednesday evening, county health authorities said. A neighbor of the Austin Place victim ran outside to help, leaving his door open. The fox then ran inside his home at 40 Austin Place and bit his dog. Family members trapped the fox in a bedroom by closing the door after it ran inside.

An animal control officer from Ossining placed a cage trap in the bedroom, but the fox didn't enter the cage to take the bait. By the following morning, authorities decided they had to let the animal out of the room in order to catch it. The animal control officer and two Briarcliff patrolmen opened the bedroom door and then threw a net over the fox after it escaped from the room.

Residents of Chestnut Hill Lane and Austin Place in Briarcliff were disturbed by reports of a rabid fox on their streets.

"I guess you have to keep your distance," said Barbara Erzol who learned about the fox through a recorded phone message from the county health department.

After the capture, the fox was then taken to a veterinarian to be euthanized. Its head was sent to the county health department so that the brain could be analyzed for rabies, Zazzini said. On Friday, test results confirmed that the animal was rabid.

"It's very disturbing especially since it wasn't a matter of people disturbing the fox, the fox attacked them," said Barry Shapiro who lives on Chestnut Hill Lane. "I'm a physician so I know it's not a fun thing to be treated prophylactically for rabies."

Leny Canales, a nanny at a home on Austin Place agreed.

"It's scary. I think it's dangerous," she said.

Attempts on Monday to reach victims of the fox attacks were unsuccessful.

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