Home Latest Stories Cape May County Confirms First Positive Rabies Case

Cape May County Confirms First Positive Rabies Case

Rabies vaccinations are free for dogs and cats belonging to residents of Cape May County. (Photo courtesy of veterinarypracticenews.com)

The Cape May County Health Department has confirmed the first rabies case of the year from a raccoon on Woodbine Avenue in Belleplain, Dennis Township.

County health officials were notified of a dog that had possibly been exposed to rabies on Feb. 26 and brought to a vet for a rabies booster after having had contact with a rabid raccoon. The raccoon tested positive for rabies by the State Health Department Laboratory on Monday.

Due to this exposure, the dog is being placed in a 45-day confinement. No humans were exposed to the raccoon, according to a county news release.

An encounter with a potentially rabid animal can be fatal for your pet, particularly if your pet is not currently vaccinated. This also puts your family in danger of being exposed to rabies, the release stated.

Residents are advised to take precautions when encountering wild animals, particularly raccoons. Rather than approach a wild animal, call your local animal control officer for assistance.

“Rabies is nearly always a fatal disease in humans and any animal bite should be taken seriously,” County Health Officer Kevin Thomas said.

The rabies virus is shed in the saliva of animals that are infected with the virus. If an animal bites you, wash the wound, seek medical attention immediately, and notify the Cape May County Department of Health and your municipal animal control agency.

If you are exposed to a rabid or suspected rabid animal, you must receive rabies shots as soon as possible to prevent the disease. If your pet has contact with a wild animal, contact your veterinarian and the health department immediately at (609) 465-1187.

State law requires all dogs seven months and older to be licensed with your local municipality and a rabies vaccination is a requirement for licensing. Most municipalities also have ordinances for cats.

Many municipalities hold free or low-cost rabies vaccination clinics and rabies vaccines are also available from local veterinarians.

Upcoming municipal rabies clinics include:


Cape May Point

Public Works

801 Lighthouse Ave.

Cape May Point

March 5

12 p.m. to 1 p.m.


Woodbine Ambulance Building

DeHirsch Avenue


March 16

1 p.m. to 3 p.m.


Public Works Yard

771 Seashore Road


April 13

9 a.m. to 11 a.m.


Public Works Garage

400 W. Mechanic Street

Cape May County Court House

May 4

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.


Paid for by Michael DeVlieger