Poughkeepsie…The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) is again partnering with the Dutchess County SPCA to host a free rabies vaccine clinic for pets on Saturday, June 25th at the Fishkill Town Hall located at 807 Route 52, in Fishkill. The clinic will run from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. with free parking available. Registration is required, walk ins will not be accommodated. Registration is open and can be done by visiting the DCSPCA website at dutchesscountyspca.as.me/RabiesClinic. Pre-registrations can also be made by calling the DCSPCA at 845-452-7722, x425
Conducted by the Dutchess County SPCA, 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 a fee of $10 per pet vaccinated. 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.
In New York State, rabies shots are required for all cats, dogs, and domestic ferrets by the age of four months. Animals must always remain up to date on rabies shots. Revaccination is 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.
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 do not apply to 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 Behavioral and Community Health is available 24/7 to assist with any questions or concerns regarding potential rabies exposure to people or domestic animals. Pet owners should report to DCBH 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 they should take to ensure the safety of their animal.
DBCH ask residents who see an animal acting strangely to contact their local police agency. If a person has been bitten, or a domestic pet is bitten or is in contact with any animal, contact DBCH immediately at 845-486-3404 Monday through Friday 9AM-5PM, or 845-431-6465 on nights and weekends.