Two rabid animals have been found in Montclair this month, the township health department said in a news release Thursday, Aug. 25.

A skunk found on Walnut Parkway and a raccoon found on Christopher Street tested positive for rabies, the New Jersey Department of Health told the township. The skunk was found on Thursday, Aug. 18, and the raccoon was found on Monday, Aug. 8.

Rabies is a fatal disease of warm-blooded mammals caused by a virus, most frequently spread through a bite or scratch from an infected animal, the township said. An infected animal has the rabies virus in its saliva and infects other animals or people through bites and contact with saliva. Once infected animals become ill, they may bite or attack other animals or people.

Common carriers of the virus are raccoons, skunks, foxes, woodchucks, bats and feral (stray) cats, officials say. Some warning signs of neurological diseases like rabies and distemper include appearing drunk or excessively wobbly, circling, seeming partially paralyzed, unable to climb, acting disorientated or mutilating itself.

Montclair advises residents to stay away from both wild and unknown animals. Additionally, the town asks residents to never feed stray animals. 

According to the announcement, pet owners should check to ensure their animals are licensed, vaccinated and up to date on rabies vaccination.

If you notice an animal acting strangely or if your pet has an altercation with any wildlife acting in an erratic manner or if you find a bat in your bedroom during overnight hours, Montclair asks that you contact the Animal Control Service Request Line as soon as possible at 862-621-9113 to have an Animal Control Officer dispatched.