Atlantic County’s second case of rabies this year was confirmed Friday in a raccoon captured on Walnut Avenue in Egg Harbor Township, according to a statement issued by the county.
The raccoon was seen by a neighbor, who alerted the property owner, according to county spokeswoman Linda Gilmore. The homeowner later let three dogs out into the yard, where one dog was bitten by the raccoon.
The raccoon was caught by Wildlife Aid and sent to the state lab for rabies testing, Gilmore said.
The dog that was bitten by the raccoon was current with its rabies vaccine, received a booster vaccination and was placed under a 45-day informal confinement as a precaution.
In late April, a Northfield raccoon tested positive for rabies, according to the county. It was the first confirmed case in the county this year.
In 2017, Atlantic County had a total of four rabies cases involving a raccoon, a cat, a skunk and a fox, Gilmore said.
Rabies is a fatal viral disease preventable through rabies vaccinations for pets.
The Atlantic County Animal Shelter provides a free rabies vaccination clinic for dogs and cats once a month at 240 Old Turnpike Road in Pleasantville. The next clinic will be 9 to 11 a.m. Sunday. Dogs must be brought on leashes and cats in carriers. For more information call 609-485-2345 or visit www.aclink.org/ animalshelter.
The county recommends keeping newly vaccinated or unvaccinated pets indoors. Dogs and cats who receive an initial rabies vaccination are not fully immunized until 28 days after getting the vaccine.
It’s also important to teach children to stay away from wild, stray or aggressive animals.
Those who are bitten by an animal are advised to wash the wound immediately with soap and water and seek medical attention.
Report all animal bites to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health at 609-645-5971.
For more information about rabies control and precautions to protect your family and your pets, visit the county website at www.aclink.org/publichealth or call 609-645-5971.
— Michelle Brunetti Post