;

Oswego County Health Department Announces Rabies Clinics for 2017

The Oswego County Health Department will hold eight rabies clinics at locations around Oswego County this year.

All clinics will be held on Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m.

The first clinic will be March 22, at the County Highway Garage, 31 Schaad Drive, Scriba.

“The rabies virus continues to be active across Oswego County. We’ve already had a raccoon in Oswego test positive for rabies this year,” said Jiancheng Huang, Oswego County Public Health Director. “The rabies virus is fatal to mammals and can infect any mammal. Most of our rabies cases involve people or domestic animals coming in contact with rabid wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes. Immunizing pets greatly reduces the risk of human exposure to rabies and is the most effective way to protect humans and their pets from the rabies virus.”

New York State law requires that all cats, dogs, and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies.

The first rabies vaccine should be given at three months of age.

Ferrets must be vaccinated annually.

Dogs and cats require a second vaccination within one year of the first, and every three years thereafter.

In order for pets to receive the 3-year booster shot, owners need to show that the pet was previously vaccinated.

Owners should bring their pet’s last rabies vaccination certificate with them to the clinic.

The health department suggests a $7 donation per animal to help cover the cost of the rabies clinics, but no one will be turned away.

Dogs should be leashed and cats and ferrets should be in a carrier.

Please leave sick pets at home.

Clinics will be held at these locations during the spring, summer and fall:

–    Scriba: March 22, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 31 Schaad Drive
–    Parish: April 5, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 24 Dill Pickle Alley.
–    Pulaski: May 3, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 957 Centerville Road.
–    West Monroe: June 7, 6 to 8 p.m., Town Highway Garage, 46 County Route 11.
–    Granby: July 12, 6 to 8 p.m., Town Highway Garage, 820 County Route 8.
–    Volney: Aug. 9, 6 to 8 p.m., Bristol Hill Landfill maintenance building, 3125 State Route 3.
–    Palermo: Sept. 13, 6 to 8 p.m., Town Highway Garage, 1572 County Route 45.
–    Scriba: Nov. 1, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 31 Schaad Drive.

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.

A bite or scratch on the skin should be washed immediately with soap and water.

To reduce the risk of rabies in animals and humans, people should take the following steps:

–    Make sure that dogs, cats and ferrets have current rabies vaccines. The rabies vaccination is the most effective way of protecting pets and humans from rabies.
–    Do not feed pets outdoors.
–    Never try to feed a wild animal.
–    Do not approach or touch unfamiliar animals.
–    Avoid any animal with symptoms of rabies.
–    Block any openings into the home that an animal may get through.
–    Keep tamper-proof lids on outside garbage cans so animals are not attracted to your property.
–    Teach children basic rules about protecting themselves from strange and unfamiliar animals.

To report a possible exposure, or for more information about rabies, call the Oswego County Health Department weekdays at 315-349-3564.

In an emergency during evenings, weekends, or holidays, call the health department’s answering service at 315-341-0086.

For more information visit www.oswegocounty.com/health/rabies.pdf  or facebook.com/Oswegocountyhealth/