Rabid Raccoon Found in Maplewood

from Robert Roe:   A rabid raccoon was found in Maplewood on June 6 in the Ridgewood Road area near South Orange.   The raccoon was captured by St. Hubert's Animal Control and tested positive for rabies at the New Jersey State Health Department laboratory.

This is a reminder to all residents that rabies in wild animals still continues in our area.   The first line of defense is to have your dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies.   If there is any question, please call me at the Maplewood Health Department. 973-762-8120 x4400.  

One question that is often asked is if raccoons seen out during the day have rabies.   The answer is no.  At this time of year mother raccoons are especially busy day and night getting food for for their babies, so they are often seen during daylight hours.   Raccoons that are sick with rabies are very sick animals that cannot walk well, they often stagger and fall and sometimes even walk in circles.  This may also be due to distemper which is not contagious to people.  If you see a raccoon that cannot walk or climb and appears sick, call the Police or St. Hubert's Animal Control   973-377-2295.   There is no need to call if the raccoon is climbing or looking for food or is otherwise showing normal behavior.      

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