Worcester County to Hold Fall Rabies Vaccination Clinics
SNOW HILL, Md.- With rabies an ongoing problem in the county, the Worcester County Health Department and Animal Control is reminding pet owners about a series of rabies vaccination clinics being offered this fall. These will be the last clinics offered in 2012.
As of Sept. 13, the county has reported 15 laboratory confirmed cases of rabies. Thirteen of the cases were raccoons, one fox and one groundhog. The county also reported 14 suspected cases of rabies (raccoons and foxes), which means the animal or contact was indicative of rabies but the animal was not tested.
People and animals can be infected by the virus if they are exposed to the saliva of an infected animal. Rabies is fatal when left untreated. Low-cost rabies clinics are offered to help residents protect their dogs, cats and ferrets.
There will be three clinics in October and all are from 5:30-7 p.m.:
Wednesday, Oct. 3 at Stockton Fire Hall, Route 12 and Route 366.
Thursday, October 4: Showell Fire Hall, Route 575 (Old Route 113).
Wednesday, October 24: Worcester County Animal Control on Timmons Road in Snow Hill.
The cost for a rabies vaccination is $5 per pet for Worcester County residents and $10 per pet for non-Worcester County residents. Proof of residency is required. Vaccinations are available for dogs, cats and ferrets. Below are additional requirements for the clinics:
If this is not the pet's first rabies vaccination, written proof of the previous shot in the form of a rabies certificate must be provided in order to receive a three-year booster shot. Otherwise, a one-year shot will be given.
To receive a vaccination, dogs must be on a leash under the control of an adult, and cats and ferrets must be in a carrier or box with air holes.
Keeping pets' required rabies vaccinations current is the best way to prevent the spread of rabies from the wild animal population to the domestic animal population.
For more information on the clinics or to report animal bites or possible rabies exposures to pets from wild animals contact the Worcester County Health Department at (410) 352-3234 or (410) 641-9559. If an incident occurs after normal business hours, contact your local law enforcement or the Worcester County Sheriff's Office.
The clinics are held soon after World Rabies Day – Sept. 28. So far in 2012 there have been 225 laboratory confirmed cases reported statewide. These animals, mostly wildlife, can expose humans or pets to rabies. Raccoons are the most common animal found to be rabid, but others frequently identified are foxes, skunks, bats, and cats.
The health department recommends the following tips to protect your pets and family from rabies exposure.
Keep current vaccinations your dogs, cats, horses and ferrets and keep those vaccinations current. If you don't know the expiration date of the vaccination for your pet, call the vet to check.
Do not let your pets roam free. They are more likely to have contact with a rabid animal if they roam free.
Avoid feeding your animals outside because this draws stray and wild animals to your doorstep. If you must feed outdoors, do not leave food out overnight and clean up any spillage.
Securely cover your garbage cans.
Avoid sick animals and those acting in an unusual manner and teach your children not to approach wild animals and animals they don't know.
If your pet has contact with wild animal, avoid touching your pet with bare hands by wearing gloves or wrapping your hands in plastic bags. Do not touch the animal directly. Report the incident immediately to the health department or your local law enforcement regarding the testing of the wild animal. Consult your veterinarian.
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