Dutchess County Announces Rabies Clinic at DCSPCA (July 18th)
Poughkeepsie…The Dutchess County Department of Health announced today a free rabies vaccination clinic for pets will be held on Saturday, July 18th at the Dutchess County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 636 Violet Avenue in the Town of Hyde Park from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon with convenient parking onsite.
In partnership with the DCSPCA, 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 $10 for each pet vaccinated.
“Rabies clinics offer Dutchess County pet owners a great opportunity to have their dogs, cats, and ferrets vaccinated at no cost,” said Dutchess County Commissioner of Health Kari Reiber, MD. “By keeping our pets properly immunized, it not only helps protect our pets should they encounter a rabid animal, but also protects us as owners and community members.”
All dogs must be on leash, and 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.
“We are pleased to be partnering with the Department of Health to provide this free service,” said Jackie Rose, DCSPCA Executive Director. “We want to encourage county residents to take advantage of this clinic to protect their pets from rabies. We will also be offering microchips for $35.” Please visit the Dutchess County SPCA’s Facebook page for additional information.
In New York State, rabies shots are required for all cats, dogs, and domestic ferrets by the age of four months. Revaccination is then required on a regular schedule to keep the animal properly immunized against the rabies virus. Owners can be fined up to $200 if they fail to get their pets vaccinated and keep them up-to-date.
Dr. Reiber reminds pet owners of the importance of vaccinating all dogs, cats, and ferrets, even if they are considered “house pets” and remain indoors. “There is always a chance your pet could be exposed to rabies if they get outside or if a bat enters the home,” said Reiber.
If a pet is not up-to-date on its rabies vaccination and fights with a rabid or suspect-rabid animal, the pet must be promptly destroyed or placed in quarantine for six months to protect other animals and people in case the pet develops rabies. These mandates are not required for a vaccinated pet in the same situation. In such cases, only a booster dose of rabies vaccine would be given within five days to treat the pet.
The Department of Health 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. To learn more about rabies during business hours, call (845) 486-3404 or visit the Department’s webpage atdutchessny.gov/health.