Stray Cat In Township Tests Positive For Rabies; Somerset County Advises Caution

health departmentA stray cat found in the Emerald Place area has tested positive for rabies, Somerset County officials said.

The cat, described as being a black, brown and white tabby, scratched a resident on Nov. 10, according to a release from the county. The cat was taken to the public health laboratory at the state Department of Health for tests, and the resident was advised to begin rabies treatment.

Anyone in contact with this kitten in the Emerald Place area or surrounding neighborhoods is urged to call the Somerset County Board of Health at (908) 231-7155.

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, according to the release.

“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.”

To prevent exposure to rabies, don’t handle or feed unknown animals, and stay away from animals that are acting strangely, health officials say.

Rabies, fatal in humans, is transmitted through animal bites or saliva of an infected animal. It is curable with prompt medical attention.

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