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Rabid Raccoon Found in Gloucester Township

The raccoon was removed from a home in the Blackwood section of the township on March 5. The dog is up to date on its rabies shots and was given a booster shot.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
A raccoon that was removed in the Blackwood section of Gloucester Township on March 5 tested positive for rabies, the Camden County Health Department announced on Wednesday.

The raccoon was killed following a fight with an unidentified family’s dog. The wildlife control officer contacted by the family prepped the raccoon for submission for rabies testing at the state laboratories in Trenton.

The dog is current with its rabies vaccinations and received a booster shot from its veterinarian.  In addition, state regulations dictate that the dog be confined and observed for 45 days from the date of the incident.

“Although rabies is a serious illness, it can be prevented by early treatment,” Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Health Department, said. “If you have been bitten or scratched by a wild animal it is important that you seek immediate medical attention.”

Rodriguez provided the following tips for pet owners:

·  Keep vaccinations up to date for all dogs, cats, and ferrets;

·  Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals, and if your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately; and

·  Contact your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.  They may be unvaccinated and could be infected by the disease.

Rodriguez said it’s also important to avoid direct contact with unfamiliar animals, and provided the following tips:

·       Enjoy wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, and foxes from afar.  Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or liter;

·       Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.  Do not try to nurse sick animals to health.  Call animal control or an animal rescue agency for assistance;

·       Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they seem friendly;

·       Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas where they might come in contact with people or pets; and

·       When traveling abroad, avoid direct contact with wild animals and be especially careful around dogs in developing countries.  Rabies is common in developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.  Tens of thousands of people die of rabies each year in these countries.

Interested residents can learn more about rabies through the Internet by accessing the information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/. Residents may also call the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services at 856-374-6370.

Big Daddy 1 March 13, 2014 at 07:46 AM
We would like to know more specifically where this event occurred so that we know if we are in danger from other animals that may have been in contact with the raccoon. There was a similar event a few years ago when we were only given a town location. We need to know the specific area.
tamarya March 13, 2014 at 08:16 AM
As much as i dont like animals getting killed these are animals that should be removed immediatly if seen. Why risk your pets or family for a wild animal.
Gerry Hazzard March 13, 2014 at 02:15 PM
Good info but I agree with Big Daddy. Can you be more specific as to the location. Like maybe the street?

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