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County offers final rabies vaccination clinic of ’12, Oct. 24

(Oct. 12, 2012) The Worcester County Health Department and Animal Control will offer an inexpensive rabies vaccination clinic from 5:30-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Animal Control facility on Timmons Road in Snow Hill. This will be the last clinic offered this year.

As of Sept. 13, the county has reported 15 laboratory-confirmed cases of rabies. Thirteen of the cases were raccoons, one was a fox and one was a groundhog. The county also reported 14 suspected cases of rabies (raccoons and foxes), which means the animal or contact was indicative of rabies, but the animal was not tested.

People and animals can be infected by the virus if they are exposed to the saliva of an infected animal. Low-cost rabies clinics are offered to help residents protect their dogs, cats and ferrets.

The cost for a rabies vaccination is $5 per pet for Worcester County residents and $10 per pet for non-residents. Proof of residency is required. Vaccinations are available for dogs, cats and ferrets.

If this is not the pet’s first rabies vaccination, written proof of the previous shot in the form of a rabies certificate must be provided in order to receive a three-year booster shot. Otherwise, a one-year shot will be given.

To receive a vaccination, dogs must be on a leash and cats and ferrets must be in a carrier or box with air holes.

Keeping pets’ required rabies vaccinations current is the best way to prevent the spread of rabies from the wild animal population to the domestic animal population.

For more information on the clinics or to report animal bites or possible rabies exposures to pets from wild animals contact the Worcester County Health Department at 410-352-3234 or 410-641-9559. If an incident occurs after normal business hours, contact your local law enforcement or the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office.

The clinics are held soon after World Rabies Day, Sept. 28. So far in 2012, there have been 225 laboratory confirmed cases reported statewide. These animals, mostly wildlife, can expose humans or pets to rabies. Raccoons are the most common animals found to be rabid, but others frequently identified are foxes, skunks, bats and cats.

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