MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Those cute little groundhogs can be dangerous! The Middletown Township Health Department responded to a call concerning an aggressive groundhog on September 25th.  Middletown Animal Control was able to capture the animal in the area of Main Street, Belford, between Broadway and Palmer Street. The groundhog was sent to the State Laboratory for testing. It was confrmed on Septembe 29th that the groundhog was indeed rabid. 

The Middletown Health Department would also like to remind everyone that all dogs and cats must be licensed in the Township. The CDC recommends three things to prevent rabies: Avoid wildlife, vaccinate pets and seek medical attention quickly after animal contact. If you come across a sick or injured animal, keep your distance and avoid all contact. Call Animal Control at 732-615-2097 immediately or contact the Police Department at 732-615-2100 after hours and on weekends. Please make sure all domestic animals (dogs, cats, and livestock) are currently vaccinated with a Rabies shot. Do not let your pets run free off leash, even in the woods, to ensure they do not come in contact with wildlife that may be rabid. 

Rabies is a fatal disease. The best course of defense is the vaccination of your pets and not handling or interacting with wildlife. If you are bitten or exposed to blood/saliva of an animal, contact your physician immediately. Contact your Veterinarian immediately if your pet was exposed to wildlife, even if previously vaccinated.