Residents Reminded to Avoid Feral Cats and Wild Animals to Prevent Rabies
(Sewell, NJ) – Six positive cases of rabies in animals have been confirmed in Gloucester County and the Gloucester County Board of Freeholders would like to remind residents of the importance of rabies awareness and prevention.
“Rabies is a fatal disease that is most frequently spread through a bite from an infected animal, however it is preventable,” said Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger. “Now that it is warm and we are spending more time outdoors we have to remember to respect wildlife. Don’t approach wild animals and make sure your pets have their Rabies Vaccination,” said Damminger.
The Gloucester County Department of Health has submitted 57 specimens to the New Jersey Department of Health for rabies testing so far this year. Of those, 6 tested positive for rabies. Some of the animals tested in the past have been bats, cats, skunks, opossums, foxes and raccoons.
Positive specimens have been found in Pitman, East Greenwich, Monroe, Franklin and Washington Townships.
Freeholder Lyman Barnes said, “Residents are cautioned to keep their distance from feral cats as well for they can inflict bites and scratch. If you are bitten and the cat is not found and tested for rabies, you must be treated for rabies,” stated Freeholder Barnes, who serves as Freeholder Liaison to the Department of Health.
Freeholder Adam Taliaferro said that Rabies Vaccination and animal control programs have helped to prevent rabies in most pets so it is important to keep your dog or cat up-to-date on rabies vaccinations.”
“Cats and dogs that spend time outdoors have more risk of coming into contact with a rabid animal, however it is also important to vaccinate pets that stay indoors,” said Taliaferro. “Keep your pets safe and prevent them from coming in contact with feral cats as well,” stated Freeholder Taliaferro, liaison to the Gloucester County Animal Shelter.
If you come in contact with or see feral cats in your neighborhood, or any other animal exhibiting suspicious or odd behavior, please contact the Gloucester County Animal Control Office at: (856) 881-2828 for assistance. For additional information on rabies prevention, contact the Gloucester County Department of Health’s Consumer Health Program at (856) 218-4170.
Free rabies vaccination clinics are held each year in each municipality and any resident can attend any clinic regardless of which town they reside. For a list of clinics visit