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Animal Bites & Scratches

The University’s procedure for response to bites from domestic and wild animals is designed to provide timely medical follow-up and notification to the appropriate local health department officials so that the animal can be captured and tested for rabies if necessary. Animal bites can result in infections, including tetanus and rabies. Rabies occurs most often in wildlife, particularly raccoons, bats, skunks, groundhogs and foxes. In New Jersey, cats account for the majority of domestic animal rabies cases.

According to University protocol, an encounter with a bat could include:

  • Awakening to find a bat in the room.
  • Witnessing a bat in the room with a previously unattended small child, mentally disabled or intoxicated person.
  • A bite (any penetration of the skin by teeth), or saliva or brain/spinal cord tissue introduced into mucous membranes (eyes, mouth), an open wound, abrasion or scratch in the skin from a bat

How to Prepare:

  • Do not feed or otherwise provide care to wild animals, including feral cats, which may be living on campus or near Housing complexes. 
  • Report all wild animals to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 609-258-1000.
  • There should be a screen in every dormitory room and stairwell window that can be opened. This prevents bats from entering buildings. If a screen is missing or not properly installed and the room will be occupied, call Customer Service at 609-258-8000

What to Do:

If you are bitten or scratched:

  • Call Department of Public Safety immediately at 609-258-3333.
  • Clean the wound with soap and water.
  • Seek medical attention, if necessary.

If you encounter a bat or believe you have sustained an exposure:

  • Avoid direct contact with the bat and call Public Safety at 609-258-1000.
  • Do not try to capture or kill the bat.
  • Do not release a bat found in a building until it has been confirmed through Public Safety that no exposure has occurred.
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