SCRIBA – Hundreds of people took advantage of the first rabies clinic of the year on Wednesday night to safeguard their pets from the rabies virus.
They had about 700 doses of the vaccine on hand.
The Oswego County Health Department will hold seven more rabies clinics at locations around Oswego County this year. All of them will be held on Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m.
“Rabies continues to be a threat in Oswego County,” said Jiancheng Huang, Oswego County Public Health Director.
Most of the cases involve wild animals, he noted.
A fox in the town of Minetto tested positive for rabies earlier this year. And, a skunk in Scriba and a raccoon in Albion also tested positive earlier this month. Both of these animals attacked unvaccinated pet dogs, Huang pointed out.
Immunizing your pets is an effective way to reduce the risk of human exposures to rabies, he said.
The clinics now use computers to cut down on paperwork and save people time.
“This way it’s more efficient and easier for people,” Huang said. “I am so glad to see so many people here. This will help keep their pets safe and cut down the threat of rabies in our county.”
Lyle Naracon of Oswego brought his toy Pomeranian, Buddy, to the clinic.
Buddy is 7 years old and weighs 3.5 pounds.
“I want to make sure he is protected,” Naracon said. “We appreciate the county doing this every year.”
There was a suggested donation of $7 (per animal) to help the health department cover the cost of the rabies clinic.
No one was turned away for being unable to pay.
Upcoming clinics will be held at:
– Pulaski: May 4, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 957 Centerville Road.
– West Monroe: June 1, 6 to 8 p.m., Town Highway Garage, 46 County Route 11.
– Hannibal: July 6, 6 to 8 p.m., Town Highway Garage, 68 Cemetery Drive.
New York State law requires that all cats, dogs, and pet ferrets be vaccinated against rabies.
The first rabies vaccine should be given at three months of age. Pet ferrets must be vaccinated annually. Dogs and cats require a second vaccination within one year of the first and every three years thereafter.
Any time a person or pet comes in contact with a sick or suspicious-acting animal, the incident should be reported to the county health department as soon as possible.
To report a possible exposure, or for more information about rabies, call the Oswego County Health Department weekdays at 349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3564. In an emergency during evenings, weekends, or holidays, call the health department’s answering service at 341-0086.