Raccoon tests positive for rabies

A raccoon killed in Freehold Township has tested positive for rabies.

According to a press release from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to “the animal health community” and provided to the Times Observer by Paws Along the River on Monday, a dog went under the front porch of a Turnpike Cemetery Road, Sugar Grove, home and fought with a raccoon.

The homeowner shot the raccoon and submitted it for testing. The Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory found it to be positive for rabies.

The dog had an up-to-date rabies vaccine. It received a booster shot and will be quarantined for 90 days. According to the Department of Agriculture release, no humans were exposed to the raccoon.

The date of the incident was not included in the release. The information was released to Paws Along the River on Friday, Dec. 13.

According to information provided by Paws Along the River, raccoons, foxes, skunks, coyotes, feral cats, bobcats, and weasels that are sick or acting strangely, have had contact with pets or livestock, or have bitten or attacked a person, should be considered possibly rabid.

“We take this very seriously,” Paws Executive Director Karen Kolos said. “This disease is fatal.”

“People should be concerned and cautious with their outside dogs and cats,” she said.

Under Pennsylvania law, all domesticated dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies with additional booster vaccines “to maintain lifelong immunity.” The penalty for a violation is a fine of up to $300.