Dutchess County Announces Rabies Clinic on October 24th
Recognizes September 28 as World Rabies Day
Poughkeepsie… Today, the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) announced that a free rabies vaccination clinic for pets will be held on Saturday, October 24th at the Public Safety Building, located at 505 Main St, Poughkeepsie from 8am-12pm. The announcement of the clinic comes on World Rabies Day and in keeping with this year’s World Rabies Day theme of “End Rabies: Collaborate, Vaccinate” DBCH is working with the Dutchess County SPCA to host this clinic for household pets in the city of Poughkeepsie.
This clinic will offer Dutchess County residents the opportunity to obtain rabies shots free of charge for their dogs, cats, and domestic ferrets 3 months of age and older. Proof of residency is required. Non residents will be charged a $10 fee. Pre-registration is required and can be completed by visiting DCSPCA.org or calling 845-452-7722, x417. No walk-ins will be accommodated. All dogs must be on leash, cats and domestic ferrets must be in carriers. Vaccinations will be good for three years for pets with proper proof of a prior immunization. For those without proof, the vaccination will be good for one year.
DBCH Commissioner A.K. Vaidian said, “While rabies is a 100% preventable disease, more than 59,000 people around the world die from rabies each year. World Rabies Day is an opportunity to reflect on our efforts to control this potentially deadly disease and remind ourselves that the fight is yet over. I want to encourage residents to make sure their pets’ vaccinations are up to date and individuals are taking proper precautions to be safe and healthy.”
People and animals are usually exposed to rabies through a bite from an infected animal. Exposure can occur if the saliva or nervous tissue of a rabid animal enters an open wound or mucous membrane (such as the eyes, nose, or mouth). Bats are the main carrier of the virus and prolonged exposure to one is considered a possible rabies exposure. Because the small teeth of a bat can make a bite difficult to detect, the presence of a bat in a room with a sleeping person, unattended child, or an intoxicated or mentally compromised person should be treated with the utmost caution.
Individuals can greatly reduce risk of rabies exposure by:
- Avoiding contact with wild animals such as raccoons, foxes, skunks, woodchucks/groundhogs, and bats.
- Not approaching or handling domestic animals that are unknown, including stray dogs and cats.
- Not attempting to handle or capture sick or orphaned wildlife.
- Keeping homes and yards free of food and other debris that may attract wild animals.
- Vaccinating domestic pets including dogs, cats and livestock.
- Being vigilant while inspecting window unit air conditioners for bats before removing them for fall.
- Being sure all windows and doors have secure and intact screens to keep bats from entering your home.
- Making sure chimney dampers are closed. Also sealing all unused openings from the house into the chimney so bats cannot enter.
DBCH is available around the clock to respond to inquiries or concerns regarding potential rabies exposures to people or domestic animals. Pet owners should report to the Department any incident in which their pet has been bitten by or has an open wound exposed to the saliva or nervous tissue of a domestic or wild animal. Staff will investigate and advise the pet owner of any necessary steps that they should take to ensure the safety of their animal. Individuals with urgent inquiries may call (845) 431-6465 if an incident occurs after business hours.
For more information on about rabies and what to do if you suspect an exposure go to DutchessNY.Gov/Rabies