Sunday, February 19th at Dutchess County SPCA
Poughkeepsie…The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) is again partnering with the Dutchess County SPCA to host a free rabies vaccination clinic for pets on Sunday, February 19, 2023, at the Dutchess County SPCA located at 636 Violet Ave in Hyde Park from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. This clinic is open to dogs, cats, and domestic ferrets 3 months of age and older. Pre-registration is required and will open on Tuesday, 24th of January 2023. Residents can register at DCSPCA.org or by calling the DCSPCA at 845-452-7722 extension 425.
There is no charge for Dutchess County residents; 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.
Rabies vaccinations are required by New York State law for all cats, dogs, and domestic ferrets by the age of four months of age. Pet owners are required to revaccinate 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.
DBCH 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 DBCH 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 diligently investigates and monitors rabies exposure cases throughout the county. In 2022, the department investigated almost 600 potential rabies exposures incidents, with 105 animal specimens tested and more than 100 people treated with rabies post exposure prophylaxis.
The County offers three to four clinics each year. In 2022, more than 400 pets were vaccinated through DBCH’s community partnerships.
Residents who see an animal acting strangely are advised 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, they’re to contact DBCH immediately at 845-486-3404 Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or 845-431-6465 on nights and weekends.