Rabies Clinic is Saturday

Don’t forget to bring your unvaccinated pet to the Grady County Livestock Pavilion for a low-cost rabies vaccination during the first ever Grady County Rabies Clinic.
State health officials and local veterinarians are concerned with the uptick in rabies cases in Grady County and the growing number of unvaccinated pets in the community.
In an effort to combat the rabies problem and ensure that all pets are vaccinated, the Grady County Health Department, Animal Medical Center and Cairo Animal Hospital are teaming up to host an upcoming rabies clinic.
The Grady County Rabies Clinic is scheduled for this Saturday, June 25, 2011, from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the Grady County Livestock Pavilion.
“We encourage everyone to come out and get their pet vaccinated for rabies. Rabies is endemic in a rural community like ours. Exposure to wildlife is everywhere. To prevent human contraction or contraction of rabies by home pets, it is important to have your pets vaccinated,” Environmental Health Specialist Shane Huey said.
Since January, according to Huey, the Grady County Health Department has investigated 17 bite reports, some of which were animal to animal and some that were animal to human. Of those 17, Huey says, 13 were human exposure, and five required further investigation.
In all of 2010 there were 22 bite reports, with 20 of those being human exposure.
Year-to-date comparisons indicate in seven instances health officials recommended post-exposure prophylactic shot treatments.
This figure illustrates the growing rabies problem here in Grady County and officials believe a rabies clinic will help combat the problem.
“With many people out of work and household budgets stretched, some individuals don’t have the monetary means to have their pets vaccinated. At this clinic with only a $13 fee, we hope to target those people and get results,” Huey said.
Georgia law requires the vaccination of all domestic dogs and cats.
Huey says this year rabies cases involving dogs, cats, raccoons, a bat and a fox have been reported.
Dr. Janet Ackerman of Animal Medical Center and Dr. Charles Graham of Cairo Animal Hospital, along with their assistants, will be manning the clinic Saturday.
Huey reminds all local residents that the $13 fee must be paid in cash and pets must be at least three months old to be vaccinated. Pets showing signs of illness such as vomiting, diarrhea or weight loss will not be vaccinated.
“We are hoping to have a large turnout and to vaccinate a lot of unvaccinated pets,” Huey said.
For more information about the upcoming Rabies Clinic, call Grady County Environmental Health at 229-377-8857.

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