Return to Department Homepage

Rabid Raccoon on Clark Street

Health Department News Release

February 9, 2022

The Rutherford Board of Health has reported that a raccoon that was fighting with a dog has tested positive for rabies. The incident occurred on Clark Street. The dog in question has been re-vaccinated against rabies and is under a 45-day rabies advisory notice.

Residents should be advised of the following:

• People should stay away from wildlife, particularly wildlife that is acting sick, aggressive, unusually friendly to people or paralyzed. Abnormal acting wildlife or other animals should be immediately reported to the Rutherford Police Department at 201-939-6000. Teach children NEVER to handle unfamiliar animals even if they appear friendly.

• Remember that rabies is entirely preventable through vaccination. All cats and dogs should be kept current on their rabies vaccine. Dogs and cats are required to be licensed through the Rutherford Police Department Records Bureau (201-460-3045).

• If a person is bitten by any animal, they should receive medical attention and be evaluated for a rabies exposure. If possible, the biting animal should be captured, contained, and ownership information gathered so the animal can be evaluated. Animal bites are required to be reported to the local health department.

• Residents who find bats in their homes should contact the Rutherford Police Department immediately for guidance. If someone was bitten or had direct contact with a bat it should be captured and contained if possible. Bat-proofing to prevent bats from entering the living space of residences should be undertaken to prevent future exposures.

The New Jersey Department of Health has reported that raccoons continue to have the highest level of laboratory confirmed cases of rabies in New Jersey, with 103 new cases in 2021, and 6,114 cases since January 1989.

The Rutherford Health Department will be having a Free Rabies Clinic at the Mortimer Ave Firehouse on April 2, 2022 from 10am-12:00pm.

Residents with questions can reach out to the Rutherford Health Department weekdays at 201-460-3020.