Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus. The virus is found in the saliva of a rabid animal and is transmitted by a bite, or possibly by contamination of an open cut. Left untreated, rabies attacks the nervous system and causes death.

Only mammals, including people, can get rabies. Rabies occurs most often in wildlife, particularly raccoons, bats, skunks, groundhogs, and foxes. These animals represent 95% of the cases in the United States. (NOTE- It is illegal in NJ to keep these animals as pets)

In NJ, cats account for the vast majority of domestic animal rabies cases. Farm animals, dogs, and other domestic pets can also become infected so take measures to keep wild animals from entering houses, barns and garages. Rodents such as rats, mice, chipmunks, and squirrels are rarely infected.

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