Broome County Health Department Announces Rabies Vaccination Schedule
Rabies vaccinations will be provided to dogs, cats and pet ferrets. Animals receiving their first vaccination must be at least 3-months old. A $5 donation per animal is requested to help cover the cost of the clinic but is not required. All pets will be vaccinated regardless of ability to donate. If your pet has had a previous rabies vaccination, bring the certificate with you so that your pet may receive a three year vaccination. Without the certificate, your pet will receive a one-year vaccination.
Pets must be under the control of their owner while at the clinic.
"Rabies is a serious public health concern. It's very important that people make sure their pets are immunized," said Diane O'Hora, Supervising Public Health Educator for the Broome County Health Department. Last year there were 9 cases of rabies confirmed in Broome County. The disease was identified in 5 bats and 4 raccoons.
Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that affects the nervous system. The virus is transmitted through the saliva, usually from a bite from a rabid animal.
The Broome County Health Department urges all residents to take these common sense steps to avoid exposure to rabies:
- Although a bite from a rabid animal is the most common way for rabies to be transmitted, seek medical advice regarding exposure after any contact with an animal that may be rabid.
- Avoid contact with any wild animal. Be especially suspicious of wild animals that are unusually tame or aggressive. Do not attract raccoons to your yard by feeding them. Tightly cap garbage cans and do not feed pets outside.
- Avoid contact, and teach children to avoid contact, with stray pets.
- Do not handle pets with bare hands for several hours after any involvement with a suspected rabid wild animal. Pet owners should keep a pair of thick gloves handy for just such situations. Always wash your hands afterwards.
- Avoid contacts with the saliva of any animal, including pets, that may be rabid or that may have been exposed to rabies.
- Seek advice regarding bat roosts in homes.
If you are bitten, scratched or have contact with pet, domestic animal, wild animal or bat, immediately wash the wound or contact area, seek medical attention, and report the incident to the Broome County Health Department.