Rabies is caused by a virus which can infect both people and animals and it is virtually always fatal. While the majority of rabies cases in the state have been in wild animals such as bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes, cats are also a relatively common victim of rabies. These cases can pose a significant threat to unvaccinated domestic animals, which can contract the virus from wild animals and transmit the infection to humans. Residents are reminded to take these rabies prevention measures:

  • Immediately report a bite from a wild or domestic animal to the police department
  • Immediately report any wild animal showing signs of unusual behavior
  • Be sure all family pets and agricultural animals are up to date on their rabies vaccinations
  • Animal-proof home and yard
  • Do not feed or handle wild animals
  • Avoid contact with stray animals or pets other than your own
  • Try to prevent your pets from coming into contact with wild animals
  • Screen off vents to attics and other areas that could provide shelter
  • Call the health department if you find a bat in your home

The Commission offers free rabies vaccinations clinics throughout the year in each of our towns. For dates on upcoming clinics, please check the Calendar. Residents may attend any location, regardless of residence. Also, please remember to license your cat or dog. Information for licensing in your town can be found here.

Learn more on the New Jersey Department of Health’s rabies ‘frequently asked questions’ information sheet. In addition, here is information on animal confinement guidelines regarding possible rabies exposure.