MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP ANIMAL Control has received laboratory confirmation February 1 that two raccoons tested positive for Rabies. These new reports bring the total number of wild animals testing positive for Rabies within the last few weeks to four.
The raccoons were tested after they were found to be in altercations with dogs. One was in the area of Tindall Road, while the other was by Prospect Ave in Atlantic Highlands. Luckily, both dogs were up to date on their rabies vaccinations and only needed to receive a rabies booster and a 45-day quarantine, according to Health Department Director Rich DeBenedetto. Previously, a skunk and another raccoon tested positive in December.
In light of finding two more rabid animals within a short period of time, authorities are reminding residents about the possibility of wildlife being infected with Rabies. Residents are urged to make sure all domestic animals (dogs, cats, and livestock) are currently vaccinated with a Rabies shot. If the dogs involved in the previous incidents were not currently vaccinated, they would have been ordered to be confined for six months in an approved pen or facility, or humanely euthanized to protect the family members from possible exposure to the Rabies Virus, DeBenedetto added.
DeBenedetto reminded residents that they should not be interacting with wildlife and recommends that anyone who comes across a sick or injured animal stay away from the animal and call the Animal Control at (732) 615-2094 or the police department after hours and weekends.
“Rabies is a fatal disease. The best course of defense is the vaccination of your pets and not handling wildlife,” Benedetto noted in a prepared statement.