First rabies clinic of year set for Jan. 18 in Forestport

FORESTPORT— The county Health Department will hold a rabies clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at the Back to Basics Dog Obedience Training facility, on Route 28.

Hours are 6 to 8 p.m. and $10 donation is suggested to help defray costs. In the event of inclement weather, the clinic will be held Jan. 28.

"Rabies is the most dangerous disease transmitted from animals to humans and continues to be widespread throughout Oneida County," said Bobbi Jo Kahl, coordinator for the department’s Rabies Prevention and Treatment Program. "We want to offer county residents as many opportunities as possible to vaccinate their pets in order to keep them and their human contacts safe from this deadly virus so we’re planning an increased number of clinics this year."

Last year the county submitted 171 animals for testing and reported eight cases of rabies in animals, including four raccoons, two brown bats, a gray fox and one skunk. A total of 70 people underwent post exposure rabies treatment while a number of pets had to be euthanized.

Kahl said the department is planning as many as 13 rabies clinics this year. Ten clinics were held last year.

State health law requires all dogs, cats and ferrets 3 months and older be vaccinated for rabies even if they are kept indoors. Dogs and cats require two rabies vaccinations one year apart and then one every three years thereafter. Ferrets must receive the vaccination every year. Dog and cat owners should bring proof of previous vaccination to receive a three-year certificate.

Those attending any of the clinics must have their pets leashed or in a pet carrier.

For more information call the Health Department, 798-5064, or visit the web site at ocgov.net /oneida/health.