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The Humboldt-Del Norte Veterinary Medical Association is sponsoring low-cost canine rabies vaccination clinics throughout the county in May and June.
Dog vaccinations are $6 each. Other canine and feline vaccinations will be available. The cost of these vaccines will vary with each clinic. A complete clinic schedule follows below.
“It is important to vaccinate our pets for the protection of our families, neighbors and pets,” said Melissa Martel, director of the Department of Health & Human Services Division of Environmental Health (DEH). “Rabies is always present in the wildlife population throughout our county, especially in skunks, bats and foxes.”
Dogs are required by state law to be vaccinated at 3 months, with a booster one year later and then every three years thereafter, she said. Cats aren’t required by law to be vaccinated. However, it is highly recommended as they frequently interact with wildlife.
“We have very little control over wildlife. What we can do is vaccinate our pets, because rabies is always fatal in animals,” she said. “If an unvaccinated pet (dog or cat) comes in contact with a rabid or suspected rabid animal, the owner has two options, immediately vaccinate and confine the pet in strict isolation for six months or voluntarily euthanize the pet.”
People exposed to a rabid animal or potentially rabid animal must undergo multiple medical treatments costing several thousand dollars.
“Always report animal bites to the animal control agency in your jurisdiction,” Martel said.
Tens of thousands of people die of rabies worldwide each year, primarily in countries where pets are not vaccinated, according to the World Health Organization which credits widespread vaccination of domestic animals for preventing these deaths in the U.S.
Questions about rabies can be directed to DEH at 707-445-6215 or toll-free at 800-963-9241.
The Humboldt-Del Norte Veterinary Medical Association rabies clinic schedule for 2015 is:
May 16: Fortuna Veterinary Hospital from 10 a.m. to noonMay 20: Petrolia Grange from 10 a.m. to noonMay 30: Riverwalk Veterinary Hospital in Fortuna from 11 a.m. to noon and Broadway Animal Hospital in Eureka 10 a.m. to noonJune 4: Sunny Brae Animal Clinic from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.June 6: Trinity Animal Hospital (Note: Rabies vaccine is $12) -Weaverville Clinic from 9 to 11 a.m. -Hawkins Bar Mini Mart from 3 to 3:30 p.m.June 10: Eureka Veterinary Hospital from 9 to 11:30 a.m.June 13: Redwood Animal Hospital in McKinleyville from 10 to 11a.m. and Myrtle Avenue Veterinary Hospital in Eureka from noon to 1 p.m.June 17: Arcata Animal Hospital from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.July 11: Trinity Animal Hospital in Weaverville from 9 to 11 a.m. (Note: Rabies vaccine is $12)
Prevention measures include:
1. Avoid contact with wild animals, including feral cats. Do not encourage them around your home by feeding them. 2. Report aggressive wild animals and stray animals to local law enforcement.3. Vaccinate dogs, cats and select livestock against rabies. Keep vaccinations current.4. Obtain medical care promptly if bitten by any animal.5. Report bites from domestic animals to county or city animal control and bites from wild animals to DEH.6. For schools and daycares, add policy and procedures for handling stray or wild animals. Instruct children to keep away and report them to an adult.7. Dogs need to be vaccinated initially at 3 months old, and then revaccinated within one year and thereafter at least once every three years.
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