On October 14, 2015 Spring Lake Police received reports of a rabid raccoon in the area of First Avenue and Worthington Avenue. Â Officers were dispatched and with the assistance of Monmouth County Humane Society were able to capture a raccoon in that area and it was sent for testing.
On October 15, 2015 the Borough of Spring Lake was notified that the raccoon tested POSITIVE for rabies. Â There is a concern that other animals in that area may have been exposed to the rabies virus.Â
Residents are urged to take extra precautions while spending time outdoors. Any animal related concerns that a resident may have should be forwarded to the Associated Humane Society (732-922-0100) & the Spring Lake Police Department (732-449-1234) as soon as possible.
Because rabies is fatal once symptoms develop, the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission #1 is asking all residents to take the following precautions to prevent rabies:
â€¢ Vaccinate your pets against rabies, and make sure that that they receive their rabies booster(s) on time;
â€¢ Do not leave pet food outdoors, as it will attract wildlife and they will become adapted to residential environments;
â€¢ Keep your pets inside at night, when wildlife (such as raccoons, skunks, bats and coyotes) are more active;
â€¢ Keep dogs within your sight in a fenced yard during the day while outside, or walk on a leash;
â€¢ Keep all trash and garbage in tightly closed containers;
â€¢ If you believe your pet has been exposed to a wild animal, contact your veterinarian promptly;
â€¢ If you or a family member is bitten or scratched by a wild or unknown animal, contact your physician right away. Post-exposure vaccination is 100% effective in preventing rabies when administered in a timely manner.
How to recognize potentially rabid wildlife:
Â â€¢ Difficulty walking – fully or partially paralyzed hind legs, or walking in circles.Â
â€¢ Looks confused, disoriented, slow. A healthy raccoon will be doing something purposeful, and it’ll look alert.
â€¢ Makes crazy noises – most healthy raccoons chatter to each other, or make a real racket when fighting or mating, but usually when they’re foraging about, they aren’t making crazy noises.
â€¢ Foaming at the mouth – if you’re close enough to see this, get away!
â€¢ Just plain looks sick – shouldn’t be too hard to tell. Raccoons can contract a variety of diseases, including distemper, but in no cases should you risk contact with a raccoon.
Contact the police department (732-449-1234) immediately if you recognize these signs.
Here are some behaviors exhibited by BOTH healthy and rabid raccoons:
â€¢ Out during the daytime – totally normal. However, still exercise caution.
â€¢ No fear of humans – raccoons have become urban animals like squirrels. Many healthy raccoons have zero fear of people.