MAPLEWOOD, NJ - A rabid raccoon and a dog got into a fight in Maplewood last week, according to an email on Monday, September 25, from Robert Roe, Maplewood Health Officer.

According to Roe, "The raccoon was captured by St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare and tested for rabies at the NJ State Dept. of Health. The report received this morning indicates that the raccoon had rabies. The dog owner is being contacted concerning need for rabies vaccination."

The email from Roe also stated that "Maplewood has hundreds of raccoons and they are part of the normal wildlife that is abundant in our suburban town and there is no way to capture and remove them all," adding that the home of choice for raccoons is the hollow of old trees. 

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"Raccoons with rabies in a contagious state are usually very sick animals. They stumble and fall and have difficulty walking. Sometimes the raccoons do become vicious.  A raccoon that is normal is usually walking around looking for food or climbing fences and trees. They are curious animals and often go onto people’s decks looking for food. Keep your garbage secure so that raccoons do not use your garbage as a food source," stated the email from Roe.

Roe advises that the first step in preventing rabies is to have dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies.

Free rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats will be done at Maplecrest Park on Saturday October 7, from noon until 4 p.m.  

For further information contact the Maplewood Health Dept., 973-762-8120 x4400.