Free vaccination event for dogs, cats and ferrets; ECDOH, partners vaccinated over 4,600 pets at 6 clinics in 2016
The Erie County Department of Health, in conjunction with the SPCA Serving Erie County, the Niagara Frontier Veterinary Society, and the Veterinary Technology Program at Medaille College, has announced a free rabies vaccination clinic for dogs, cats and ferrets to be held from 3-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, at the North Buffalo Community Center. This is the first free vaccination clinic of 2017 and builds off a successful vaccination effort in 2016, when ECDOH and its partners held six clinics across Erie County and vaccinated a total of 4,635 pets.
"Our free rabies clinics are a great way for Erie County residents to help protect families and their pets from rabies," Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said. "New York state law requires pet vaccinations, so I strongly encourage pet owners around the county to take advantage of this opportunity to keep them and their pets safe."
Residents are cautioned that any pet is at risk of being exposed to a rabid wild animal, and that rabies is always fatal in animals. Potential rabies-bearing animals such as bats often find their way into homes, as well as raccoons, foxes or skunks gaining entrance through "doggy doors" or garages. ECDOH identified 31 animals that tested positive for rabies in 2016, including two domestic cats that had not been vaccinated.
"These vaccinations are an effective way to minimize the spread of rabies from wildlife to pets and humans," added Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein. "I want to remind county residents that if they or their pets have been exposed to a wild animal, or bitten by a dog or cat, they should contact the Erie County Department of Health at 716-961-6800."
Erie County Legislator Peter Savage said, "The free rabies clinics are a remarkable service offered by Erie County, allowing pet owners a safe and convenient opportunity to vaccinate their pets at no charge. Ensuring and promoting safe vaccination is beneficial to pets and the greater community."
"We are pleased to continue working with our rabies clinic partners in 2017, who truly help us provide this vital and popular service to our community," said ECDOH Senior Public Health Sanitarian Peter Tripi. "Our goal is to have 100 percent of Erie County's pets vaccinated to protect them from rabies. It is very important that both indoor and outdoor cats get vaccinated, regardless of if the pet owner lives in the city, the suburbs, or a rural location, as rabid animals can enter homes undetected."
Additional rabies vaccination clinics will be held in May and September.
The North Buffalo Community Center is located at 203 Sanders Road, Buffalo (off Colvin Boulevard, south of Kenmore Avenue). For more rabies information from the Erie County Department of Health, click HERE.