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The coyote involved in the Jan. 11 attack on the Columbia Trail was found to have rabies by state officials. That coyote was euthanized by Morris County Park Police at the scene of the attack.

This recent incident illustrates the importance of:

$1·         Taking precautions to avoid contact with wild animals it at all possible.

$1·         Keeping domestic animals away from wildlife when possible

$1·         Keeping your pets and livestock rabies vaccinations current

$1·         Renewing your dog and cat licenses every January

Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal, usually a wild animal like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes.

Bats are a high risk carrier of rabies. Avoid contact with all downed or dead bats. Call the Health Department or Police Department immediately if you find a bat in your home. The Police Department does not remove bats from a residence, but can provide a referral, and assistance in having a paid service respond to the scene.

You should seek medical attention if you are exposed to or bitten by a suspect wild animal. If your pet has an encounter with a wild or unknown animal, call your veterinarian. Your pet will likely require a booster shot. If possible, do not handle your pet within two hours of the incident to avoid contact with the saliva of the wild animal. Wear gloves if you need to handle your pet immediately following an encounter.

In addition to household pets, other domestic farm animals such as cows, horses, etc. should be vaccinated against rabies. Rabies is a serious public health threat but it is a preventable disease.

For more information from The US Center for Disease Control visit: 

Please call the Health Department 908-876-3650 if you have any questions.

For police, call 911 or 908-876-3232 x 0 for non-emergencies.

For information on coyotes visit: