OCEAN COUNTY – Two more raccoons have tested positive for rabies in Point Pleasant, bringing the total number of rabid animals captured in the county to five.
The Ocean County Health Department said these two new animals were captured on Ocean Avenue near Fleming Avenue. These are in addition to one found in Point borough and another in Point Pleasant Beach. There was also a fox in Jackson that went rabid and attacked a family.
Last year in Ocean County there were 2 cases of animals that tested positive for rabies. One animal was a raccoon and the other a bat.
To make a rabies vaccine appointment for your cat or dog, call the Northern Ocean County Animal Facility at 732-657-8086 or the Southern Ocean County Animal Facility at 609-978-0127. Free rabies clinics are held every other Wednesday at each facility.
You can’t always tell if an animal has rabies by just looking at it – the only way to know for sure if an animal has rabies is to perform laboratory testing. However, animals with rabies may act strangely. Some may be aggressive and try to bite you or other animals, or they may drool more than normal. (This is sometimes shown in movies as animals “foaming at the mouth.”)
Keep in mind, not all animals with rabies will be aggressive or drooling. Other animals may act timid or shy, and a wild animal might move slowly or act tame. You might be able to easily get close to it. Since that’s not the way wild animals usually act, you should remember that something could be wrong. Some animals may not show any signs of having rabies. It’s important to leave wild animals alone, including baby animals.
Some unusual behaviors to look for include:
- Staggering gait
- An animal seemingly oblivious to noise or nearby movement
- Erratic wandering
- Discharge from eyes or mouth
- Wet and matted hair on face
- Repeated high-pitch vocalization
Keep Your Yard Safe
Keep in mind some of the following tips outlined below you can use in an effort to protect and limit your family and pets from those unwanted wildlife interactions and any potential rabies exposure:
- Make sure all garbage is stored in animal-resistant containers.
- Screen off vents to attics and other areas that could provide shelter for bats and squirrels.
- Vaccinate your cat or dog against rabies. Unvaccinated pets can contract rabies from wildlife and can transfer the disease to humans. These are safe and effective vaccines to protect our personal pets such as dogs, cats and horses and farm animals like cattle, sheep and many others.
- Never try to pet or approach a wild animal – even if it appears curious or friendly.
If You Are Bitten
Try and learn as much as you can about the animal. If it’s a known pet with a tag, contact the owner. If it’s a stray or wild animal, try to remember the last location you saw the animal and any distinguishing features or behavior that may be able to assist animal control officers in identifying and capturing the animal.
- Wash your wound immediately with plenty of soap and water.
- Contact your healthcare provider or hospital emergency department for care and consultation regarding the need for rabies preventative treatment.
- Report the incident to the OCHD at 732-341-9700 ext. 7515.