MIDDLETOWN – The township health department has received laboratory confirmation of another raccoon testing positive for rabies.
The new report brings the total number of wild animals testing positive for rabies this year to six – one bat and five raccoons. The raccoon was tested after it was found in altercations with a dog. The incident happened in the area of Trovillo Court, located in the vicinity of the Locust and Navesink sections of town. Luckily, the dog was up to date on its rabies vaccination and only needed to receive a rabies booster and a 45-day quarantine, according to Health Department Director Rich DeBenedetto.
The township will be holding a free rabies vaccination clinic for cats from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, and a similar clinic for dogs from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Croydon Hall complex, 900 Leonardville Road, Leonardo.
The township is reminding residents about the possibility of wildlife being infected with rabies and to be sure all domestic animals (dogs, cats, and livestock) are currently vaccinated with a rabies shot.
If the dog had not been currently vaccinated, the owner would have been ordered to confine the animal 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 said.
Residents should not be interacting with wildlife. Those who come across a sick or injured animal should keep their distance and immediately contact animal control at
732-615-2094 or 732-615-2097. Notification can also be made to the police department after hours and on weekends.
Rabies is a fatal disease. The best course of defense is the vaccination of pets and not handling or interacting with wildlife.
Additional information is available by calling animal control at 732-615-2094.