Middle Police shoot two animals suspected to have rabies

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MIDDLE TOWNSHIP -- Middle Township Police officers this week shot a skunk and a raccoon in separate incidents. The animals were believed to have rabies.

Cape May County last week finished a baiting program aimed to reduce the spread of rabies.

An officer shot a skunk May 1 at Goshen Road in Swainton, after it was presumed to be rabid, reported county health officer Kevin Thomas. A dog has been quarantined.

Also on May 1, a police officer shot a raccoon on Route 47 in Cape May Court House. The animal tested positive for rabies.

A dog has been quarantined, which often means the pet is kept in a cage at home, Thomas said.

A skunk fought with a dog on May 3 on Hand Avenue in Cape May Court House. That case is awaiting test results.

About 47,000 vaccine-laden baits have been dropped recently on the mainland, Cape May and the campgrounds, Thomas said, which cost about $60,000.

“The vaccine is not harmful to wild animals or pets,” the county said in a previous announcement. “Although the exposure risk to humans is slight, an announcement from the county reads that people should be aware of what a bait looks like; encourage children to leave the baits alone; keep dogs and cats inside or on leashes at least five days after an area has been baited; do not attempt to take a bait away from a pet as he or she may bite you; wash your hands or exposed skin thoroughly with soap and water if you touch the bait or the liquid vaccine inside the bait.”

Thomas wants owners to make sure their pets are vaccinated against rabies, whether at the vets or a free clinic.


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