This month, there has been a surge in the number of rabies cases identified in wild animals near Montgomery, according to the Montgomery Health Department, which also serves the Boroughs of Hopewell, Pennington, and Rocky Hill. There have been two rabid or suspect rabid animals in the Boroughs just in the past month — one feral cat and a bat.
Rabies is a deadly virus that attacks the nervous system. It is most often seen in wildlife such as raccoons, bats, skunks, groundhogs, and foxes. Domestic cats, dogs, and ferrets can also get rabies, if not vaccinated. If a rabid animal bites you, or its saliva or tissue gets into your eyes, nose, mouth or any open wound, you can get rabies. Rabies is fatal once symptoms begin.
Protect yourself and your pets by having them vaccinated against rabies.
The best way to prevent rabies is to vaccinate and license your pets. Municipal Ordinances require dogs and cats to be vaccinated against rabies, and licensed. Check out Montgomery Township’s website for upcoming free rabies vaccination clinics, http://twp.montgomery.nj.us.
Protect yourself and your pets from rabies:
- Vaccinate your dogs, cats, ferrets, and other animals against rabies.
- Avoid contact with wild animals. Enjoy wildlife from a distance.
- Do not let pets roam free.
- Cover garbage cans securely and do not leave pet food outside.
- Prevent bats from entering your home. If you find a bat, do not touch it. Only let it go if you are absolutely sure no people or household pets had any contact with it.
- If you or your pet has an encounter with a wild animal, contact the Montgomery Township Health Department. After hours, call Montgomery Township Police at 908-359-3222
- All Dog bites should be reported to the Police for Animal Control follow-up.
To learn more about preventing rabies, visit http://www.nj.gov/health/cd/rabies/documents/rabiesbrochure.pdf or call the Montgomery Township Health Department/Animal Control at (908) 359-8211.