April 25, 2008
Oswego County Health Department Holds Rabies Clinic May 7 in Granby
The Oswego County Health Department is urging residents to make sure their pets are vaccinated against rabies. The Health Department will hold its next rabies clinic from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Granby Town Garage, 820 County Route 8, on Wednesday, May 7.
So far this year there have been three confirmed cases of rabies in wild animals in Oswego County. They include raccoons in the towns of Hannibal and Richland, and a skunk in the town of Volney.
“The public should not be complacent when it comes to rabies,” said Evan Walsh, associate public health sanitarian for the Oswego County Health Department. “It is still a very active disease in Oswego County and we can't predict where it will show up. The disease is a terrible way for an animal to die. Unvaccinated pets are not only at risk of getting rabies, they also carry the threat of rabies exposure to their owners.”
Walsh said the rabies virus can infect any mammal, including dogs, cats, livestock, wildlife, and humans. The vast majority of rabies cases reported each year occur with wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes.
“It is crucial to prevention that people keep vaccinations current on their dogs and cats, including indoor cats,” said Walsh.
All dogs, cats and pet ferrets are required by state law to have current rabies shots. Animals may receive their first rabies vaccine at age three months. The first shot protects the animal from rabies for one year. Subsequent shots last for three years. Pet owners should bring their pet's last rabies certificate to the clinic.
The health department suggests a $5 donation per animal to help cover the cost of the rabies clinics, but no one will be turned away.
The Oswego County Health Department will hold rabies clinics at the following locations in 2008:
Any time a person or pet comes in physical contact with a wild animal, it should be immediately reported to the county Health Department. Any bite or scratch on the skin should be immediately and thoroughly washed with soap and water.
To report a possible exposure, or for more information about rabies, call the county Health Department weekdays at 349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3564. In an emergency during evenings, weekends, or holidays, call the health department's answering service at 341-0086.
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