Final call to vaccinate your pet from rabies this year

Don’t miss the Madison County Health Department’s last rabies vaccination clinic for the year on Saturday, December 2nd from 9:00 am-11:30 am at the Oneida Veteran’s Memorial Field, 260 North Main Street in Oneida.

Vaccinations are offered free to Madison County residents. Voluntary donations are appreciated to help defray clinic costs.

Proof of previous vaccination is required to qualify for a three-year certificate. All animals must be at least 3 months of age and properly restrained using a leash and collar, harness, cage or pet carrier.

Public health law requires all dogs, cats and ferrets to be vaccinated by 4 months of age. A second vaccination must be given within one year of the first, and pets must be actively immunized against rabies thereafter. This typically requires a booster vaccination every three years for dogs and cats, and annually for ferrets. Owners of any dog, cat or ferret not current with their rabies vaccinations are in violation of public health law, and subject to a fine of up to $200 for each offense.

Rabies continues to be a problem in New York State and in Madison County. Two raccoons tested positive for rabies this year. If you come in contact with a rabies suspect wild animal or possible exposure through a pet, report it to the Health Department. The Health Department will discuss the exposure with you to determine if treatment is necessary.

Note that rabies exposures may also occur from contact with a pet that has fought with a rabid animal.

Vaccinated animals that come in contact with a wild animal should receive a rabies booster within five days of exposure to be protected from the rabies virus.

Pet owner’s who have an unvaccinated pet that comes in contact with a rabid or suspected rabid animal, must choose to either euthanize the pet or place the unvaccinated pet into strict quarantine for six months at the owner’s expense per current public health law. Avoid this decision by ensuring your dog, cat or ferret is up to date with its rabies vaccinations.

If you are bitten, scratched, or have contact with any animal you believe to be rabid, immediately wash the wound, seek medical attention if needed, and promptly report the incident to the Madison County Health Department at 366-2526. If you encounter a bat in your home and there is the potential it may have exposed individuals while sleeping, “Catch the Bat” and contact the Health Department to arrange for the bat to be tested for rabies.

To learn more about our clinics and rabies, visit healthymadisoncounty.org or call 315-366-2526.

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