A dead raccoon found in the Green Creek section of Middle Township last month tested positive for rabies, the Cape May County Health Department confirmed Monday.
Middle Township Animal Control found the animal after it was attacked and killed by a dog on Dec. 22. State records indicate it might have been only the second rabid raccoon found in Cape May County last year.
Rabies is a viral disease spread by the bite of an infected animal. It causes inflammation of the brain, and leads animals to be disoriented and attack without fear or provocation. It is almost always fatal after symptoms develop.
In light of the finding, Middle Township Animal Control is enacting a zero tolerance policy for all dogs found unrestrained outdoors and unlicensed in the township starting Feb. 1.
To obtain a license, go to MiddleTownship.com and download an application form. Licenses cost $8.20 for a spayed or neutered dog, $11.20 for a dog that is not spayed or neutered.
There will be a Free Rabies Clinic at Middle Township Public Works, 400 W. Mechanic St., Cape May Court House on Jan. 26, 2013, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Dog licenses will be available at the clinic.