MIDDLETOWN, NJ - The Middletown Township Health Department has received laboratory confirmation of a bat testing positive for Rabies. This new reports bring the total number of wild animals testing positive for Rabies this year to 5 (1 bat, 4 raccoons ).

The bat was tested after it was found to be in altercations with a dog. This incident happened in the area of Bryna Drive, located in the Lincroft section of Middletown. Luckily, the dog was up to date on its rabies vaccination and only needed to receive a rabies booster and a 45-day quarantine, according to Health Department Director Rich DeBenedetto.

In light of finding a rabid bat, we would like to remind residents about the possibility of wildlife being infected with Rabies. Please make sure all domestic animals (dogs, cats, and livestock) are currently vaccinated with a Rabies shot. If this dog was not currently vaccinated, the owner would have been ordered to confine the animal for six months in an approved pen or facility, or humanely euthanized to protect the family members from possible exposure to the Rabies Virus, DeBenedetto added.

Residents should not be interacting with wildlife. Any homeowners that have bats nesting anywhere in their house should contact a licensed professional pest control service. If you come across a sick or injured animal, keep your distance and please contact Animal Control at 732-615-2094 / 2097 immediately or contact the Police Department after hours and on weekends. Remember, Rabies is a fatal disease. The best course of defense is the vaccination of your pets and not handling or interacting with wildlife.