The Niagara County Department of Health will hold a free rabies clinic at the City of Niagara Falls Hyde Park – Oasis/Centennial Pavilion, 911 Robbins Drive, from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday June 3.
All appointments are by reservation only. Go to www.niagaracounty.com/health, click on the “Rabies Information” icon and follow the link under rabies clinic to register. Those unable to register online may call 716-439-7444 for registration assistance. once appointment slots have filled, registration for this event will close.
Rabies vaccination clinics have returned to “walk-through” to accommodate as many pets/pet owners as possible. They operated as “drive-thru” clinics during the pandemic.
NCDOH stated, “In addition to rabies vaccinations, we are pleased to partner with Better Together Pet Resource Center who will be onsite offering microchipping and ID for a nominal fee of $20. Better Together Resource Center helps keep people and their pets together through equitable access to animal care information, veterinary services and community resources and supplies.”
New York state requires all residents to maintain active rabies vaccination for their dog, cat or ferret. An animal’s first vaccination is valid for one year, and any subsequent vaccination provides protection for three years.
NCDOH reminds residents of the following precautions to prevent exposure to rabies from wildlife and domestic animals:
√ Do not feed, touch or adopt wild animals, stray dogs or feral cats.
√ Be sure your dogs and cats are up to date on their rabies vaccinations. Vaccinated pets serve as a buffer between rabid wildlife and humans. Protect pets with rabies vaccination to reduce your risk of exposure to rabies. Dogs and cats that receive their first rabies vaccine are protected for a one-year period. A dog or cat’s second and subsequent vaccination will protect from rabies for up to three years. Pets too young to be vaccinated should be kept indoors. By law, all cats, dogs and ferrets must have current rabies vaccinations from 4 months of age and on.
√ Keep family pets indoors at night. Do not leave them outside unattended or let them roam free.
√ Don’t attract wild animals to your home or yard. Keep your property free of stored bird seed or other foods that may attract wild animals. Feed pets indoors. Tightly cover or put away garbage cans. Board up any openings to your attic, basement, porch or garage. Cap your chimney with screens.
√ Encourage children to immediately tell adults if they are bitten by any animals. Tell children not to touch any animals they do not know.
√ If a wild animal is on your property, let it wander away. Bring children and pets indoors and alert neighbors who are outside. You may contact a nuisance wildlife control officer who will remove the animal for a fee; or if there is danger, you can call your local law enforcement agency.
√ If your pet has been in a fight with another animal, wear gloves to handle it. Isolate it from other animals and people for several hours. Call your veterinarian. Your vaccinated pet will need a booster dose of rabies vaccine within five days of the exposure. Unvaccinated animals exposed to a known or suspected rabid animal must be confined for six months or humanely euthanized.
NCDOH noted, “Bat rabies continues to be of particular concern. Niagara County residents must remain aware of the risk for rabies from any contact with a bat. Once illness occurs, rabies is almost always fatal. However, timely and complete post-exposure treatment is effective at preventing illness from occurring. If you find a bat in your home, it is important not to injure, release or discard it. Immediately contact the NCDOH environmental health division at 716-439-7444 to discuss the specifics of the situation or occurrence.”
For more information on bat rabies, including instruction on proper capturing and containment of a bat for testing, go to https://www.niagaracounty.com/departments/a-f/environmental_health/pest_control/bats.php.
Report all animal bites or contact with wild animals to the NCDOH environmental division at 716-439-7444. For more information on rabies, call that number or visit https://www.niagaracounty.com/departments/a-f/environmental_health/rabies/index.php.