A community rabies clinic will be held on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 at the Fort Lewis Volunteer Fire Department, located at 3915 West Main St. in Salem, from 9 a.m. until noon. Three hundred rabies vaccinations will be available first-come, first-served. All Roanoke-area residents are invited to bring their pet dogs and cats to be vaccinated for only five dollars each. State law requires all dogs and cats be vaccinated for rabies by a licensed veterinarian.
Dogs and cats must be three months old or older. Dogs must be on leashes or in carriers; cats must be in carriers. Please bring your pet’s vaccination record, if possible. Checks or credit cards cannot be accepted, so please be prepared to pay with cash and bring correct change. You also can save time by pre-registering by Oct. 18.
The clinic is sponsored by the Roanoke Valley Veterinary Medical Association, Roanoke County and Roanoke City Animal Control and Protection Units and the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts of the Virginia Department of Health.
“We usually see an uptick in animal rabies cases in the fall, because both domestic and wild animals are more active out of doors at this time of year, so encounters between pets and wildlife are more likely,” noted Stephanie Harper, M.D., director of the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts. “Rabies is found throughout Virginia. Any mammal can catch it and it’s almost always fatal. Vaccinating your pets will help prevent the spread of rabies and it can save the life of your pet and your loved ones.”
To prevent the spread of rabies:
- Vaccinate your pet cats, dogs and ferrets
- Put away pet food and dishes after your pet has finished eating
- Don’t feed or attract wild animals. Keep garbage containers tightly closed
- Avoid animals acting strangely or wild animals acting tame. Never approach or handle unfamiliar animals or strays even if they appear friendly
- Prevent bats from entering living quarters or gathering places.
If a person is bitten by a wild or stray animal or a pet, wash the wound with lots of soap and water, and give first aid as you would for any wound. Seek medical attention immediately. Report the incident to animal control or the health department. Be sure to report any altercations between wild and domestic animals. Contact animal control or the health department immediately if a cat, dog or other mammal is bitten by or exposed to a potentially rabid animal.
For more information, call 540-204-9764 or click here.
Submitted by Robert Parker, Virginia Dept. of Health, Office of Risk Communication & Education.