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Department of Behavioral & Community Health

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September 10, 2015        Print version


Dutchess County Announces Rabies Clinic in City of Beacon on September 19th

Poughkeepsie…The Dutchess County Department of Health announced today a free rabies vaccination clinic for pets will be held on Saturday, September 19th at The Beacon Center, 223 Main Street in the City of Beacon from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm with convenient parking onsite.

In partnership with the Dutchess County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DCSPCA), this clinic will offer Dutchess County residents the opportunity to obtain rabies shots free of charge for their dogs, cats, and domestic ferrets 3 months of age and older. Proof of residency is required.  Non-residents will be charged $10 for each pet vaccinated.

“This Clinic is a great opportunity for our Southern Dutchess resident pet owners to take advantage of our free rabies vaccinations for their pets,” said Dutchess County Commissioner of Health Kari Reiber, MD.  “By maintaining our pets’ rabies vaccinations, we can help protect them and the community from the spread of rabies should they ever encounter a rabid animal.”

All dogs must be on leash, and cats and domestic ferrets must be in carriers. Vaccinations will be good for three years for pets with proper proof of a prior immunization. For those without proof, the vaccination will be good for one year.

“County residents are encouraged to take advantage of this free clinic,” said PJ Leo, DCSPCA Operations Manager.  “Non-residents may also bring their pets for a $10 fee.  We will also be offering microchips for $35.” Please visit the Dutchess County SPCA’s Facebook page for additional information.

In New York State, rabies shots are 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 reminds pet owners of the importance of vaccinating 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 if they get outside or if a bat enters the home,” said Reiber.

If a pet is not up-to-date on its rabies vaccination and fights with a rabid or suspect-rabid animal, the pet must 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 Department of Health is available around the clock to respond to inquiries or concerns regarding potential rabies exposures to people or domestic animals. Pet owners should report to the Department any incident in which their pet has been bitten by or has an open wound exposed to the saliva or nervous tissue of a domestic or wild animal. Staff will investigate and advise the pet owner of any necessary steps that they should take to ensure the safety of their animal. Individuals with urgent inquiries may call (845) 431-6465 if an incident occurs after business hours. To learn more about rabies during business hours, call (845) 486-3404 or visit the Department’s webpage at dutchessny.gov/health.

 

 

 

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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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