Nassau County Announces Rabies Vaccination Clinics

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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The Nassau County Department of Health, in partnership with the Town of North Hempstead, is offering a free rabies vaccination clinic for dogs, cats and ferrets on Saturday, May 16, 2009.

Open to all Nassau County residents, the clinic will be held from 10:00 AM to 1:00 P.M. at the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter located at 75 Marina Avenue, Port Washington, New York. Please keep dogs on leashes and cats/ferrets in carriers.

With 67 rabid raccoons found to date in Nassau County since 2004, the first year terrestrial rabies was identified in the county, it is more important than ever to immunize pets for their protection as well as for the safety of your family and loved ones.

Rabies is transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal. However, the virus may also be transmitted when the saliva of a rabid animal comes into contact with cut, open, or scratched skin lesions. To protect from exposure to possible rabies, residents are advised to take the following measures:

* Keep domestic animals (dogs, cats, ferrets) on a leash and keep livestock confined in the evenings.

* Advise your family against approaching any unknown animal -- wild or domestic -- especially those acting in an unusual way.

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* Do not touch dying or dead animals. If you must move them, use a shovel, wear heavy rubber gloves and double bag the carcass.

* Do not touch or have contact with any animal other than your own.

* Instruct your children to tell you immediately if they were bitten or scratched by any animal.

* Notify the Nassau County Department of Health immediately if a bat is found in a room where people were sleeping or if an adult enters a room and finds a bat with a child. Do not release the bat.

* Do not feed unknown animals and discourage them from seeking food near your home by keeping garbage cans tightly covered. Avoid storing any food including pet food outside.

* Verify that your pets have current rabies vaccination, including dogs, cats, ferrets, livestock and horse.

New York State law requires all dogs, cats and domesticated ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies. If an unvaccinated pet or one that is overdue on its vaccination comes in contact with a rabid or suspected rabid animal, the pet must either be destroyed or strictly quarantined for six months. However, if a vaccinated animal comes into contact with a wild animal, it needs only a booster vaccination, but this immunization must be administered within five days of exposure. If you care for your family and your pet, it is absolutely essential that your animals have up-to-date rabies vaccinations.

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