A raccoon that got into a tussle with a dog has tested positive for rabies, according to the The Middletown Township Health Department.
This bring the total number of wild animals testing positive for rabies this year to 6. Previously lab tests said one bat, and five other raccoons, were rabid.
The raccoon was found in the area of Trovillo Ct., located in the vicinity of the Locust and Navesink sections of town. 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.
Middletown Township officials ask residents to make sure all domestic animals (dogs, cats, and livestock) are currently vaccinated with a rabies shot.
If this 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 added.
Residents should not be interacting with wildlife, say officials. If you come across a sick or injured animal, they ask you keep your distance and please contact Animal Control at 732-615-2094 / 2097 immediately or contact the Police Department after hours and on weekends.
Rabies can be fatal, officials warn. The best course of defense is the vaccination of your pets and not handling or interacting with wildlife.
Free rabies vaccination shots are available in clinics are being held by the Township.
There will be a cat only rabies clinic held on September 22 from 9-11 a.m., and a dog only clinic on October 13 from 9 a.m.- 12.p.m. at the Croydon Hall complex, 900 Leonardville Rd, Leonardo.
For more information, do not hesitate to contact Animal Control at 732-615-2094.