The Bite and More: Rabies in Domestic and Wild Animals -
New Jersey laws protect and provide for residents attacked by dogs. As a strict liability state, New Jersey requires pet owners to pay for damage done by their pets. But animals that bite are not always domestic and the damage from bites can go beyond lacerations and wounds — it can be viral.
In late July, a four-year-old Ocean County girl was attacked by a fox that later tested positive for rabies, a deadly disease. After attacking the girl, the animal was confronted and shot by law enforcement. The girl is being monitored and given preventative treatment for the virus.
Rabies, a disease particular to mammals, if not treated quickly, is almost always fatal. Transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal, rabies in wild animals in New Jersey is commonly found in:
While other small animals, like chipmunks and squirrels can carry rabies, they are rarely infected. Among domestic animals, cats are the greatest source of rabies cases in New Jersey. Thirteen cases of domestic and wild animals infected with rabies were reported in our state last year, according to the New Jersey Department of Health.
When bitten by any animal, think safety first. Consider these steps:
- If attacked by a wild animal, try to contain the animal without being further exposed to its saliva. Call police or animal control officers. If you kill the animal, avoid damaging the brain, which is tested for presence of the rabies virus.
- If bitten by a domestic animal, try to locate the owner. If successful, note the owner’s contact information and ask for proof of rabies vaccination, including veterinarian records.
Animal attacks are a frightening, painful and potentially deadly personal injury. Be careful around wildlife as well as neighborhood animals. #NJPersonalInjuryLawFirm #AnimalBites #Rabies http://www.bskb-law.com/aop/new-jersey-personal-injury/