Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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June 9, 2004

Health Department Will Hold Rabies Clinic in Volney June 16

VOLNEY-- The Oswego County Health Department will hold a rabies clinic Wednesday, June 16, at the Bristol Hill solid waste facility on State Route 3 from 6 to 8 p.m.

New York State public health law requires that all dogs, cats, and pet ferrets have their first rabies vaccine no later than four months of age and have a second vaccination within one year of the first. A booster shot is typically required every three years after or according to the frequency stated on the animal's vaccination certificate.

"Animals can be exposed to rabies even if they are kept indoors. There have been many instances where indoor pets have come in contact with a bat that got into the house," said Evan Walsh, associate public health sanitarian for the Oswego County Health Department. "The best way to protect your pet and your family from rabies is to have your dogs, cats or ferrets vaccinated."

The health department requests a $5 donation per animal to help cover the cost of the rabies clinics. Owners should bring their pet's last rabies certificate to the clinic. So far this year there have been three confirmed cases of rabies in Oswego County.

"The consequences of not keeping your pet's rabies shots up-to-date can be very serious," said Walsh. "Rabies is always fatal. If your cat or dog comes in contact with a rabid animal, and it isn't current on its rabies shots, the animal must either be euthanized or placed in quarantine for six months. As one of our educational posters states, 'Rabies, it's a terrible way for your pet to die.'"

Anytime a person or pet comes in contact with a sick or suspicious-acting animal, the incident should be reported to the county health department as soon as possible. A bite or scratch on the skin should be washed immediately with soap and water.

For more information, call the health department, weekdays at 349-3564 or 800-596-3200, ext. 3564. In an emergency during evenings, weekends, or holidays, call the health department's answering service at 341-0086.

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