2013 News Releases

Department of Behavioral & Community Health

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October 10, 2013        Print version


Rabies Clinic October 24th in Stanfordville

Poughkeepsie…The Dutchess County Department of Health will host a free Rabies Vaccination Clinic for pets on Thursday, October 24th at the Stanford Firehouse, 6098 Route 82, Stanfordville, NY 12581 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Dutchess County residents will be able to obtain rabies shots free of charge for their dogs, cats, and domestic ferrets three months of age and older. Non-residents will be charged $10 for each pet they have vaccinated.

To ensure the safety of pets, owners, and clinic staff, all dogs must be on leashes. Additionally, cats and domestic ferrets must be in carriers. Vaccinations given at the clinic will be good for three years for pets with proper proof of a prior immunization. For those pets without proof of previous immunization, the vaccination will be good for one year.

“The best way to keep your pets safe from rabies is to ensure their rabies vaccinations are always current,” says Dutchess County Acting Commissioner of Health, Kari Reiber, MD. “An up-to-date rabies vaccination means your pet will be protected if it is exposed to a rabid or suspect-rabid animal.”

In New York State, rabies shots are now required for all cats, dogs, and domestic ferrets by the age of four months. Revaccination is then required on a regular schedule to keep the animal properly immunized against the rabies virus. Owners can be fined up to $200 if they fail to get their pets vaccinated and keep them up-to-date.

Dr. Reiber noted rabies vaccination is important for all dogs, cats, and ferrets, even if they are considered “house pets” and remain indoors.  “There is always a chance your pet could be exposed to rabies, for example if your pet accidentally gets outside and encounters another animal or if a bat enters the house.”

Properly immunized pets also provide a barrier between rabid wildlife and humans. “By protecting your pets,” Dr. Reiber explains, “you also decrease your own risk of exposure to the rabies virus.”

If a pet is not up-to-date on its rabies vaccination and fights with a rabid or suspect-rabid animal, New York State law requires that the pet be promptly destroyed or placed in quarantine for six months to protect other animals and people in case the pet develops rabies. These mandates are not required for a vaccinated pet in the same situation.  In such cases, only a booster dose of rabies vaccine would be given within five days to treat the pet.

The Dutchess County Department of Health (DCDOH) reminds all pet owners to report to the Department any incident in which their pet has been bitten by a domestic or wild animal. DCDOH staff will investigate and advise the pet owner of any necessary steps that they should take to ensure the health of their animal.

For more information about pet vaccination clinic schedules or other rabies-related information call (845) 486-3404 Monday-Friday, 9am - 5pm or email at HealthInfo@DutchessNY.gov.

The DCDOH is available around the clock to respond to inquiries or concerns regarding potential rabies exposures to people or domestic animals. Residents with urgent inquiries may call (845) 431-6465 if an incident occurs after business hours, and (845) 486-3404 during normal business hours.

 

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A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH,Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH
Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health
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