A stray cat in Pleasantville is Atlantic County’s seventh confirmed rabies case this year.
Residents in the 700 block of Wesley Avenue found the cat with a wound and were caring for it, according to Atlantic County spokeswoman Linda Gilmore.
When it started displaying neurological symptoms, the residents took the cat to a veterinarian. It tested positive for rabies Monday.
An investigation by the Division of Public Health found potential rabies exposure among the two residents and have advised them to contact their health care provider regarding post-exposure treatment, Gilmore said.
The county’s other rabies cases this year have involved a fox collected from Hamilton Township, three skunks found in Egg Harbor Township and two skunks from Northfield.
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.
The Atlantic County Animal Shelter holds free rabies vaccination clinics each month by appointment, which can be made at www.aclink.org/animalshelter. The next clinic is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon Sunday, June 5.
Dogs must be on leashes and cats must be in carriers.
Public health officials also advise residents to teach children to stay away from wild, stray or aggressive animals. Never feed or touch wild animals or try to keep them as pets.
Residents should also ensure trash cans have secure lids to prevent wildlife from foraging for food and not leave pet food outside. Many animals are also attracted to bird seed.
If you see wildlife that is behaving strangely, especially nocturnal animals such as skunks and raccoons found during daylight hours, do not approach the animal. Instead, call your local Animal Control Officer. Contact information is available on the county web site at: www.aclink.org/animal-shelter/municipal.asp
If you are bitten by an animal, wash the wound immediately with soap and water and seek medical attention. All bites should be reported to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health at (609) 645-5971.
For more information about rabies control and precautions to protect your family and your pets, please visit the county web site at www.aclink.org/publichealth.