Dutchess County Government posted on Facebook alerting pet owners that Dutchess County Behavioral & Community Health, in partnership with the Dutchess County SPCA, will be hosting a free rabies clinic for Dutchess County residents' pets on Saturday, February 19th, from 8 am to 12 pm.

The vaccination event is open to dogs, cats, and ferrets at the DCSPCA located at 636 Violet Avenue in Hyde Park. Pre-registration and proof of residency are required. A fee of $10 per animal vaccinated will be applied to any out-of-county residents. You can register online at www.DCSPCA.org or by calling (845) 452-7722 x 425, and follow the event on the DCSPCA Facebook page.

 

According to the CDC, around 60-70 dogs and more than 250 cats are reported rabid each year. Nearly all these animals were vaccinated and acquired rabies from wildlife. During 2018, domestic animals accounted for 47.2% of all animals submitted for testing. The rabies virus is transmitted through direct contact with saliva or brain/nervous system tissue from an infected animal. Direct contact includes transmission through broken skin or through mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, or mouth. Other types of contact contact, such as petting a rapid animal or contact with the blood, urine or feces of a rabid animal, are not associated with risk for infection and are not considered to be exposures of concern for rabies. In the United States, distinct strains of rabies virus have been identified in bat, raccoons, skunks, foxes, and mongooses.

The CDC recommends pet owners to take these precautions when preventing rabies for their pets:

  1. Regularly visit your veterinarian to keep up with rabies vaccinations for all cats, ferrets and dogs.
  2. Keep cats and ferrets indoors and keep dogs under direct supervision.
  3. Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or vaccinated regularly.
  4. Call animal control to remove all stray animals from your neighborhood since these animals may be unvaccinated or ill.

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