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Dutchess County Announces Rabies Clinic on October 24th
Recognizes September 28 as World Rabies Day

Published: 9/28/2020

For More Information Contact:

A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH  (845) 486-3432 

Poughkeepsie… Today, the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) announced that a free rabies vaccination clinic for pets will be held on Saturday, October 24th at Mansion Square Park, on the North Clinton Street side.  The announcement of the clinic comes on World Rabies Day and in keeping with this year’s World Rabies Day theme of “End Rabies: Collaborate, Vaccinate”, DBCH is working with the Dutchess County SPCA to host this clinic in the City of Poughkeepsie.

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 $10 fee per pet. Pre-registration is required and can be completed by visiting or by calling 845-452-7722, x417. No walk-ins will be accommodated. All dogs must be on leashes; 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.

DBCH Commissioner A.K. Vaidian said, “While rabies is a 100% preventable disease, more than 59,000 people around the world die from rabies each year. World Rabies Day is an opportunity to reflect on our efforts to control this potentially deadly disease and remind ourselves that the fight is not yet over. I want to encourage residents to make sure their pets’ vaccinations are up to date and individuals are taking proper precautions to be safe and healthy.”

People and animals are usually exposed to rabies through a bite from an infected animal. Exposure can occur if the saliva or nervous tissue of a rabid animal enters an open wound or mucous membrane (such as the eyes, nose, or mouth). In our area, the animals more likely to be infected with rabies include raccoons, foxes, skunks, and bats.  Because the small teeth of a bat can make a bite difficult to detect, the presence of a bat in a room with a sleeping person, unattended child, or an intoxicated or mentally compromised person should be treated with the utmost caution.

Individuals can greatly reduce risk of rabies exposure by:

  1. Avoiding contact with wild animals.
  2. Not approaching or handling domestic animals that are unknown, including stray dogs and cats.
  3. Not attempting to handle or capture sick or orphaned wildlife.
  4. Keeping homes and yards free of food and other debris that may attract wild animals.
  5. Vaccinating domestic pets (dogs, cats, and ferrets) and livestock.
  6. Being vigilant while inspecting window air conditioners for bats before removing the units for fall.
  7. Being sure all windows and doors have secure and intact screens to keep bats from entering your home.
  8. Making sure chimney dampers are closed when not in use.
  9. Ensuring that openings into your house from attics, garages, and basements are kept closed.

DBCH is available around the clock to respond to inquiries or concerns regarding potential rabies exposures to a person or domestic animal. Any incident in which a human or pet has been in contact with a domestic or wild animal should be reported to DBCH. Department staff will investigate and advise the person of any necessary steps that should be taken to ensure the safety of themselves or their animal. An Individual reporting a potential exposure to rabies may contact DBCH at 845-486-3404 Monday through Friday 9am-5pm, or at 845-431-6465 after regular business hours, or on weekends or holidays.

For more information on about rabies and what to do if you suspect an exposure go to DutchessNY.Gov/Rabies