The Camden County Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday that a stray cat and a raccoon that attacked a dog both tested positive for rabies within days of each other, in separate incidents in two townships.

On Feb. 13, according to one release issued by officials, a Winslow resident came across the wounded stray, got it into a pet carrier, and called police. The animal was taken to an animal clinic and developed rabies symptoms three days later, after which it was euthanized and tested. The positive result was returned on Feb. 23.

Another release said that on Feb. 18, a raccoon attacked a family dog in the yard of a home in Cherry Hill. Township Animal Control picked up the raccoon for testing, a result that came back positive Feb. 25.

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With regard to the cat, county officials said the resident, the Winslow Township police officer and animal control officer who responded, and staff at the animal clinic were all notified of their exposure, but did not provide any information on their conditions.

There were no known animal exposures to the cat, and no known human exposures to the raccoon in Cherry Hill. The dog that was bitten by the raccoon already had a rabies vaccine and received a booster shot, and will be confined and monitored for 45 days.

County Commissioner Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the health department, urged residents to keep pet vaccinations up to date, prevent pets, children, and themselves from interacting with wild animals, and contact local animal control to handle strays.

NJDOH statistics show Camden County reported three rabid raccoons in 2021, out of 103 statewide, and two rabid cats, among 11 total.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com

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