Authorities in Atlantic County say a stray cat has tested positive for rabies and two people who were caring for the animal may have been exposed to the virus.

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The cat, found in the 700 block of Wesley Avenue in Pleasantville, is the seventh confirmed case of rabies in the county this year.

Officials say,

The cat was found with a wound of unknown origin and cared for by the Pleasantville residents. When the cat began displaying neurological symptoms, the residents took the cat to a veterinarian for medical care. The cat then tested positive for rabies on May 9.

An investigation by the Division of Public Health found potential rabies exposure among the two residents and have advised them to contact their healthcare provider regarding post exposure rabies treatment.

700 block of Wesley Avenue in Pleasantville NJ - Photo: Google Maps
700 block of Wesley Avenue in Pleasantville NJ - Photo: Google Maps

The county’s other rabies cases this year have involved a fox from Hamilton Township, three skunks found in Egg Harbor Township, and two skunks from Northfield. This is the first case involving a cat.

Because rabies can be fatal if left untreated, public health officials remind residents of the importance of vaccinating their pets to protect both the animals and the humans with whom they have contact.

Free rabies clinics

The Atlantic County Animal Shelter holds free rabies vaccination clinics each month for dogs and cats by appointment. The next clinic is scheduled for Sunday, June 5th, from 9 AM to noon. Dogs must be on leashes and cats must be in carriers. Appointments can be made online.

What to look for

If you see wildlife that is behaving strangely, especially nocturnal animals like skunks and raccoons found during daylight hours, do not approach the animal. Instead, contact the Atlantic County Division of Public Health at (609) 645-5971.

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