Raccoon Killed By Dog Tests Positive For Rabies

A raccoon killed on Shelly Drive has tested positive for rabies.

The case is the second in the past month in the township.

A township resident’s dog killed the raccoon sometime around Dec. 12, according to a press release from the Somerset County Health Department. Rabies was confirmed on Dec. 18.

The dog did not have a current vaccination against rabies and is being held in quarantine for the next six months, according to the release.

Had the dog been currently vaccinated only a 45-day quarantine would have been necessary, according to the release.

In November, a kitten found on Emerald Place was also found to have rabies.

“Pet owners should maintain a close watch over their pets – dogs, cats and other animals – to ensure that they do not come in contact with stray animals when outdoors,” Somerset County Health Officer Dr. Paul Masaba said in the release. “Pets should not be permitted to roam outdoors. However, if a pet has been outdoors unattended and is exhibiting unusual behavior, a veterinarian should be contacted.”

Franklin Township residents who see an animal acting strangely should call the Franklin Township Animal Shelter at (732) 873-2500, ext. 6255, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or the Franklin Township Police Department at (732) 873-2300, evenings and weekends.

Rabies, which is transmitted through the bite or saliva of an infected animal, is fatal to humans. Anyone who is bitten or scratched by an infected animal should immediately wash the area with soap and water, seek medical attention and notify the police and health department, according to the release.

Throughout the year, Franklin Township sponsors several free rabies clinics for township cats and dogs. A listing of upcoming rabies clinics in Somerset County can be found on the Somerset County Department of Health events calendar at https://www.co.somerset.nj.us/health/events.aspx#rabies

For further information on rabies, visit the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services website at www.nj.gov/health/cd/documents/faq/rabies_faq.pdf

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