WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Area residents are being urged to check their pets’ vaccination status after a raccoon was found in the vicinity of Messina Drive in Woolwich Township, on August 9, 2019 that has tested positive for rabies.
There were no human exposures however; one dog was exposed to the raccoon. Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus in the saliva of infected animals. Post exposure treatment is needed immediately, as if left untreated can cause death.
Residents should also avoid wild animals and keep their distance from stray dogs and cats. People need to be aware that high risk wildlife such as raccoons, foxes, and skunks also feed in areas where outside cats are fed.
In order to ensure the safety of residents, the Gloucester County Health Department recommends that all pets have current rabies vaccinations.
In addition, the Health Department advises that parents tell children not to handle stray or unfamiliar animals including wildlife.
If anyone sees an animal that appears disoriented or exhibits strange behavior, they should not handle it, instead, they should immediately notify the Gloucester County Animal Control Office at (856) 881-2828.
For additional information on rabies please contact the Gloucester County Health Department at (856) 218-4170.