By Portia Williams
GREENUP, Ky. — With the summer season comes an increase in outdoor activities, and for pets this could mean becoming infected with rabies. For this reason, The Greenup County Health Department (GCHD) will host a rabies clinic on Saturday, June 13, from 1-4 p.m. GCHD has been hosting these clinics for ten years and more than 300 participate each year.
GCHD hosts the rabies vaccination clinic to vaccinate more pets against the deadly disease, and to comply with Kentucky law which requires all cats, dogs, and ferrets that are more than four months old to be vaccinated for rabies.
Chris Crum, director of GCHD, the rabies clinics helps residence maintain a consistent vaccination schedule.
“Normally, we like to host the rabies clinic twice a year, usually in the early summer and then again in the fall,” Crum said. “A lot of people are on a regular maintenance schedule of trying to get their dogs and cats vaccinated, and this gives them more opportunities, plus it alleviates some of the rush if we only host it once each year.”
The numbers typically increase in summer as it pertains to people being bitten by animals.
“There are going to be more bites during the summer, there are more people out and about, and there are more opportunities to be bitten by a stray, or at least a dog or a cat that they are not familiar with,” Crum said. “And, we want to make sure that we head off anyone would have to go through the series of rabies shots, to make sure that all of our residents are protected against any incidences of rabies.”
Rabies vaccine will be available for dogs and cats more than four months old. One year vaccine is $5 and a three year booster is $15. Dogs can receive a distemper vaccine for $25. Toe nail clipping will also be offered for $10 a dog or $15 for cats.
This rabies clinic is open to the public, and participants do not have to be a resident of Greenup County. A rabies tag and certificate will be issued on site as proof of vaccination.
Cassie Mace, a GCHD health educator, said rabies has to propensity to impact communities in a very harmful manner.
“Rabies is a disease that could have catastrophic consequences in our community. By offering a lower cost option, many cats and dogs will be protected from this fatal disease,” Mace said.
According to the GCHD, the majority of rabies cases occur in wildlife, most humans are exposed to the virus as a result of an encounter with an infected domestic animal. Keeping pets, including cats and dogs, up-to-date on vaccinations, is a primary means of helping to prevent rabies in humans and domestic animals.
“For many people, pets are cherished and loved members of the family,”she said. “Speaking with a veterinarian about keeping current with vaccination not only helps to make sure they are free from disease, but also reduces the risk of exposure for all family members,” Mace said.
For additional information on the rabies clinic, contact the GCHD at 606- 473-9838.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.