A second case involving a nonvaccinated dog exposed to a rabid animal has occurred in Oneida County. The last case involved a dog in Rome who got into a fight with a rabid raccoon. Now we have a dog in Oriskany that killed a rabid skunk. In both these cases, despite free/low cost rabies clinics available, the dogs were not vaccinated.
The options for these pets are not great. Euthanasia is one – and this was done for the Rome dog. The second option involves a six month quarantine which is being considered at this time for the second dog. Quarantine can be both expensive and a hassle. According to Bobbi Jo Givens, the coordinator for the county’s Rabies Prevention and Treatment program, there was no human exposure in this latest case.
The county is already reeling from the Rome situation involving a rabid feral kitten with three human exposures. Those people are undergoing the post exposure rabies vaccination series.
State law requires all dogs, cats and pet ferrets to be current on rabies vaccination after 4 months of age. Pets get one vaccination then, followed by a second vaccination a year later. After that, boosters are due every three years.
The county provides rabies clinics throughout the area during the year. The next county sponsored clinic is on August 5 at the Annisville Highway Garage from 5 to 7 pm. Pets need to be on leash or in a carrier. If your dog has had previous vaccinations, try to bring your paperwork. With proof of previous vaccination, your pet may be eligible for a three year vaccination. Ferrets need yearly vaccinations. A $10 donation is requested but you won’t be turned away without it.
At Stevens Swan Humane Society, rabies clinics are offered every other Monday. The next one is on August 9 from 3 to 5 pm at the shelter located at 5664 Horatio St, past Riverside Center. For a fee of $10, your dog or cat can be vaccinated. The same rules about confining your pet and bringing any previous paperwork apply.
Herkimer County Public Health has their next rabies clinic scheduled for Thursday, August 5, at the East Herkimer Fire House from 6 to 7:30 pm. A $5 donation is requested to help defray costs. Pets will need to be confined and if you have previous paperwork, your pet may be able to get the three year vaccination.
In Madison County, there is a clinic scheduled for Wednesday, August 25 from 5 to 7 pm at the Hamilton Fire Department. A voluntary $5 donation is suggested to help with costs. Pets need to be confined/controlled and previous paperwork should be brought with you.
There are plenty of options for free or low cost rabies vaccinations. The alternatives to vaccination are not very nice. Please vaccinate your dogs! In the meantime, follow the sensible precautions to avoid rabies exposure of you or your pets.