Saturday, November 21, 2020
A cat collected from the 1900 block of Cologne Avenue in Hamilton Township has been confirmed for rabies, the fifth rabies case in Atlantic County this year and the third identified in Hamilton Township.
An investigation by the Atlantic County Division of Public Health determined the cat, which appeared to have been hit by a car, was found by a local animal control officer. The cat bit the officer as he was removing it from the roadway. The cat was then taken for evaluation and was euthanized due to its extensive injuries. A specimen was sent to the state lab for rabies analysis where it was confirmed positive on November 20. The animal control officer has begun his post-exposure rabies treatment.
Atlantic County health officials remind residents of the importance of vaccinating their pets against rabies, a viral disease that can be fatal if left untreated. Rabies vaccinations also help protect pet owners and their family members from contracting the disease from an infected pet.
The Atlantic County Animal Shelter is holding its next free rabies vaccination clinics for dogs on Sunday, December 6 and cats on Sunday, December 13 by appointment and in accordance with federal and state protocols to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Appointments can be made online at www.aclink.org/animalshelter.
Dogs and cats who receive an initial rabies vaccination are not considered immunized until 28 days after the vaccine has been administered, therefore it is strongly recommended that any animal newly vaccinated or those too young to receive the vaccine (less than three months) not be left outdoors unattended. Situations have arisen where pet owners have left unvaccinated or newly vaccinated pets outdoors where they have sustained exposures to known or suspect rabid animals, resulting in euthanasia or four to six months strict confinement. Public health officials also advise residents to teach your children to stay away from wild, stray or aggressive animals. Never feed or touch wild animals or try to keep them as pets. If you are bitten by an animal, wash the wound immediately with soap and water and seek medical attention. All bites should be reported 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, please visit the county web site at www.aclink.org/publichealth or call (609) 645-5971.