2/16/2007 - Health Dept. Rabies Advisory

Rabies Advisory

The Hackensack Department of Health recently received positive rabies test results for an ill skunk that was captured in the vicinity of South River Street and East Broadway. Rabies is a fatal viral disease carried in mammals. Humans can get rabies from the bite or scratch of a rabid animal or through contamination of an open wound with the saliva of a rabid animal. The ill skunk attacked and killed an opossum during the encounter. There are no currently known human exposures that resulted from the incident. The Health Department warns residents to be cautious around wild animals, such as raccoons, bats, skunks, groundhogs, foxes, etc., particularly if they appear to be aggressive, unnaturally friendly or appear to be sick. Residents should also be cautious around unlicensed stray cats or dogs. DO NOT FEED STRAY ANIMALS!

Residents are also reminded that the purpose of annual pet licensing is to ensure that Hackensack pets are properly immunized against rabies, thus protecting our families, pets and community against the spread of this disease. Licensing also provides an easy means of identifying lost pets so they can be quickly returned to their owners. Annual licensing of both cats and dogs is required by State and local laws in Hackensack. Rabies continues to be present in New Jersey wildlife, such as raccoons, skunks and bats. Because of wildlife rabies, pet immunization is particularly important. If your pet is not immunized against rabies, you can get a free rabies immunization for your pet at the Bergen County Animal Shelter which is located at 100 United Lane, Teterboro, New Jersey. Rabies vaccination programs are generally held on certain weekday evenings. Call the Bergen County Animal Shelter at 201-229-4600 for their schedule of dates and times. Pet license applications can be made in person or mailed to the Hackensack Health Department, 215 State Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601-5582. Pet License application forms and instructions are available on the Health Department section of the City of Hackensack’s web site here and at our office.

For additional information call 201-646-3961, 3962 or 3968.