FRANKLIN (Somerset) — After a fight between a dog and a raccoon, Somerset County officials say they were able to determine that the raccoon was rabid.

The dog attacked the raccoon on August 1 when the animal was in the dog's backyard. The raccoon was collected by the township's animal control  and taken to the state Department of Health, where it tested positive for rabies.

Somerset County officials said the dog was current with it rabies shot and received a booster. The dog is currently being held in a 45-day quarantine, which is required by law, the county said.

"If you are bitten or attacked by an animal, do not delay in reporting it to health authorities," Somerset County Health Officer Paul Masaba said. "Rabies is a serious illness that can be fatal in humans without treatment."

Rabies can be transmitted through bites from rabid animals, or when saliva from rabid animals gets into cuts on scratches on people. Anyone bitten by a wild or stray animal should wash the area with soap and water and then seek medical attention, the county said. If a pet is bitten or scratched, it should be taken to a veterinarian immediately. The incident should be immediately reported to both the police and local health department.

From January until June, the state Department of Health reported 49 rabid raccoons were found in the state, including three in Somerset County.

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