HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — A township resident’s pet cat tested positive for rabies last week when it was taken to a local veterinarian for treatment.

The cat, which was euthanized, displayed symptoms of rabies. Laboratory tests confirmed the veterinary diagnosis on Friday.

Now the Atlantic County Division of Public Health is investigating the source of it on Laurel Street in Mays Landing.

This includes examining other pets that live in the home and whether family members, too, might have been exposed to the disease.

Rabies is spread by a virus and can be fatal if left untreated. It is found in wildlife, such as raccoons, foxes, skunks and bats, but it can infect dogs, cats or people.

A raccoon in Buena Vista Township tested positive for rabies in March. Atlantic County observed three cases of rabies in 2012 and 12 cases in 2011.

Health officials are reminding county residents to inoculate their pets against rabies.

The Atlantic County Animal Shelter offers free rabies clinics to residents each month at 240 Old Turnpike Road in Pleasantville. The June clinic has not yet been scheduled. Call 609-485-2345 for information.

Anyone who gets bitten or scratched by a wild animal should contact the Atlantic County Division of Public Health at 609-645-5971.

Contact Michael Miller:

609-272-7217

More than 30 years’ experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines in Illinois, Colorado, Texas and New Jersey and 1985 winner of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association’s John Murphy Award for copy editing.

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