Over the past couple weeks several reports in Millville and Bridgeton have come into the Health Department regarding rabid animals that include bats and a skunk.
One specific incident involving a skunk happened around the City Park area in Bridgeton. No human exposures were reported, however residents are reminded to be on the lookout for wild animals when in this area and to keep an eye on children to ensure they are not playing with any animals that may appear friendly.
Rabies is a fatal disease that can affect humans and animals.
“There are many ways to keep your home, family and pets safe from rabies,” said Megan Sheppard, Health Officer for the Cumberland County Health Department. “You can protect your pets by keeping an eye on their outdoor activities, not allowing them to run loose and making sure their vaccinations are up to date.
“You can protect yourself and family by avoiding wild and stray animals. Animals that appear overly friendly must be avoided as well. That could also be a sign of rabies. Residents should remember to report any suspicious activity by raccoons, skunks, cats or dogs to your local animal control.”
Sheppard also advises pet owners to visit the veterinarian with their pet on a regular basis and keep rabies vaccinations up-to-date for all pets.
“Spay and neutering cats and dogs helps reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or vaccinated regularly,” Sheppard said.
For more information about the rabies virus or having pets vaccinated, call the Cumberland County Health Department at 327-7602 ext. 7139.