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Many rabid animal reports in New Jersey for first half of year

In New Jersey, owners are responsible for their animals. Barring an incident involving taunting, hurting or provoking an animal, the owner is financially responsible for the animal's behavior. In the case of a bite, a large dog or other animal can inflict a lot of serious damage on a person or child. An animal attack can be a destructive experience for someone, especially if the animal has a communicable disease like rabies. Compensation is an important way to pay for necessary medical treatment, any long-term care involving therapy and even plastic surgery that may result from animal bites.

In the first half of the year, from January to June, there were 112 rabid animal reports in the state of New Jersey. According to a report from the Middlesex County Office of Health Services, 13 of those reports were in Middlesex County. They cited that 95 percent of animals with rabies tend to be dogs, cats, foxes, groundhogs, skunks, raccoons or bats. The Office recommended reporting any bites from wild and domestic animals to a local health department. Owners were urged to make sure their animals were up-to-date on rabies vaccinations.

In the event of an animal bite, the wound should immediately be washed with soap and water. If that bite comes from a domesticated animal with an owner, that person may be liable for any necessary medical treatment and care. An owner is responsible for making sure their animals are vaccinated. If an owner has a home, sometimes the animal bite claim can be taken care of through their homeowners insurance.

Animal bites generally need to be addressed immediately. After proper medical attention has been given, considerations of damages may be assessed. A victim's pain and suffering, as well as his or her medical expenses, can be overwhelming if an animal has a disease like rabies.

Source: Daily Targum, "Middlesex County sees 13 rabid animal reports," Sabrina Szteinbaum, Nov. 14, 2013

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