With rabies activity high in Oswego County and surrounding counties, pet owners should make sure their dogs, cats and ferrets have current rabies vaccines, said Judy Grandy, Director of Environmental Health for the Oswego County Health Department.
The Oswego County Health Department holds immunization clinics throughout the county to help meet this need in the community. The next rabies clinic will be Wednesday, July 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Granby Town Highway Garage, 820 County Route 8.
"Rabies can be prevented by vaccinating pets, staying away from wildlife, and seeking medical care after potential exposures before symptoms start," said Grandy.
Dogs, cats and ferrets should receive their first rabies vaccine at three months of age. Dogs and cats require a second vaccination within one year of the first, and every three years thereafter. Ferrets must be vaccinated annually.
Pet owners need to show that their pet was previously vaccinated to receive the three-year booster shot. They should bring their pet's last rabies vaccination certificate with them. Rabies clinics are scheduled at these locations this summer and fall:
- Granby: Wednesday, July 10, 6 to 8 p.m., Town Highway Garage, 820 County Route 8;
- Volney: Wednesday, Aug. 14, 6 to 8 p.m., Bristol Hill Landfill Maintenance Garage, 3125 NYS Route 3;
- Pulaski: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 957 Centerville Road; and
- Scriba: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 6 to 8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 31 Schaad Drive.
The health department suggests a $7 donation per animal to help cover the cost of the rabies clinics, but no one will be turned away. Dogs should be leashed. Cats and ferrets should be in a carrier. Please leave sick pets at home.
The vaccine is also available from a veterinarian.
Any time a person or pet comes in contact with a sick or suspicious-acting animal, the incident should be reported to the county health department as soon as possible. A bite or scratch on the skin should be washed immediately with soap and water.
To report a possible exposure, or for more information about rabies, call the Oswego County Health Department weekdays at 315-349-3564. In an emergency during evenings, weekends, or holidays, call the health department's answering service at 315-341-0086.
Additional information about rabies can be found at www.cdc.gov/rabies.