Rabid raccoon and dog fight in Maplewood

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — According to Maplewood health officer Robert Roe, last week a raccoon fought with a dog in Maplewood. The raccoon was captured by St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare and tested for rabies at the N.J. State Department of Health. The report received Sept. 25 indicates that the raccoon had rabies. According to Roe, the dog owner will be contacted concerning the need for rabies vaccination.

“Maplewood has hundreds of raccoons and they are part of the normal wildlife that is abundant in our suburban town and there is no way to capture and remove them all,” Roe said in the release. “Their preferred home is the hollow of old trees. The first step in preventing rabies is to have your dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies. Raccoons with rabies in a contagious state are usually very sick animals. They stumble and fall and have difficulty walking. Sometimes the raccoons do become vicious. A raccoon that is normal is usually walking around looking for food or climbing fences and trees. They are curious animals and often go onto people’s decks looking for food. Keep your garbage secure so that raccoons do not use your garbage as a food source.”