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

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April 8, 2005

Health Department Will Hold Rabies Clinic in Parish April 20

PARISH -- The Oswego County Health Department will hold a rabies clinic from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, at the County Highway garage on Dill Pickle Alley, off state Route 69A in the village of Parish.

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.

Kathleen Smith, Oswego County Health Commissioner, said pets 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 inside a home,” said Smith. “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.

“The consequences of not keeping your pet’s rabies shots up-to-date can be very serious,” said Smith. “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. Neither of those are easy choices for a family to make.”

Anytime a person or pet comes in contact with a sick or suspicious-acting domestic animal, or any wild 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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