A raccoon caught in an Ocean Township apartment complex becomes the community's first confirmed rabies case this year.

Raccoon, by Sam Greeenwood, Getty Images

Lab tests confirmed the disease in the animal found near the Wanamassa Gardens complex on Allen Avenue, say township police via the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission.

The critter was reported to display extremely aggressive behavior. The animal control officer sent to the spot said that numerous feral cats in the vicinity stand a risk of contracting it.

Experts warn against interacting with any stray or wild animals, including cats. A complex series of inoculations are required to combat rabies, and the disease can be fatal if untreated or undetected.

Keep a safe distance from sick or injured animals and, if you're in Ocean Township, reach Animal Control at 732-571-5665. Nights and weekends, just call police heaadquarters, 732-531-1800.

Licenses are required for all pet dogs and cats in Ocean Township, and valid rabies shots are required for licensing. Health officials urge you to keep pets leashed or under control outdoors.