6 free clinics throughout the year help pet owners to protect their four-legged friends
The Erie County Department of Health has announced the successful conclusion of the 2015 series of free animal rabies clinics, following the final event last week, which drew 909 pet owners to the Erie County Fire Training Academy in Cheektowaga. At that three-hour event, 687 dogs, 221 cats and one ferret received free rabies vaccinations. The total number of animals vaccinated in 2015 over the course of the six-clinic series was 4,716. The popular clinics are conducted by the Erie County Department of Health in association with the Niagara Frontier Veterinary Society, the Medaille College Veterinary Technology Program and the SPCA Serving Erie County.
"I would like to thank the Erie County Department of Health and their partners for their untiring efforts to protect pets and their owners through these very popular and effective clinics. I was in attendance at several of them and the professionalism, patience and willingness to help that was evidenced by staff was noted and appreciated by all who attended," Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said. "Providing programs like these rabies vaccination clinic gives residents an easy and certainly affordable option for taking care of their pets, and Erie County is proud to work with our partners to provide this protection."
A total of 620 animals were vaccinated at a Jan. 29 clinic at the North Buffalo Community Center; 900 were vaccinated in a three-hour event at the Broadway Market on May 20; another 965 were vaccinated at ECC South Campus on May 27; 836 animals were vaccinated on Sept. 9 at the Town of Tonawanda Highway Garage; 486 pets were vaccinated on Sept. 16 at ECC North Campus; and the year wrapped up with 909 pets receiving rabies protection on Sept. 23 in Cheektowaga.
"New York state law compels owners to get their pets vaccinated against rabies, and these clinics provide a good way to do that. Our staff and partners work very hard to ensure that all who attend are taken care of with a minimum of inconvenience, and we appreciate the positive feedback we've gotten from pet owners who've attended the clinics," Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said. "Working closely with our partners makes this success possible, and we are thankful for their assistance and looking forward to 2016."
"We are very happy with the turnout for this very important public health initiative, as state law mandates our dogs and cats be vaccinated against rabies to protect our pets as well as their owners," said Peter Tripi, senior public health sanitarian for the Department of Health. "We deal with rabid animals coming in contact with pets and residents that enter into the home, as well as outside in the yards, so keeping vaccinations up to date is a top priority that helps us protect the public."
For more information on the ECDOH rabies, disease and vector control program, visit http://www2.erie.gov/health/index.php?q=vector-control-program.