Tinton Falls officials are helping to look for pit bull puppies which may have been exposed to an adult dog with a confirmed case of rabies.
The Monmouth County Health Department is seeking information from anyone who may have acquired, purchased, adopted or come into contact with pit bull puppies in the Cliffwood section of Aberdeen in the past month.
“We are currently working to identify anyone who may have come into contact with pit bull puppies that may have been exposed to a confirmed case of rabies in an adult dog,” said Christopher Merkel, Monmouth County Public Health Coordinator. “We need anyone who may be in possession of, have information about, or been in contact with pit bull puppies from the Cliffwood section of Aberdeen to contact the Health Department immediately.”
Tinton Falls Mayor Gerald M. Turning urged borough residents to provide any information which could assist the county’s effort.
After the state Department of Health confirmed that a pit bull from Aberdeen tested positive for rabies, four adult dogs and a puppy were put in quarantine.
“Two of the dogs are lactating, which indicates that they may have been nursing puppies very recently,” Merkel said. “If that is the case, the puppies may have been exposed to rabies carried by the now deceased rabid dog.”
The dogs removed from the residence will be quarantined by local animal control personnel for six months, which is the time period necessary to determine if those dogs have contracted rabies as well.
According to the county, three people were bitten by the dog prior to its death. Those individuals have been referred to their doctors for treatment.
The state says there have only been eight dogs, including this case, confirmed with rabies since the raccoon variant virus entered New Jersey in 1989.
“This is a reminder to all other residents to check your pet’s vaccination and health records and make sure they are current,” Merkel said. “Rabies vaccination of dogs and cats offers a very high level of protection against the virus.”