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Low-cost rabies vaccination clinics being offered to pet owners

SIMCOE, MAY 2, 2013- Local pet owners have an opportunity to protect their four-legged friends from rabies at a reduced cost this month.

The Simcoe and District Humane Society, in partnership with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit and a local veterinarian, is offering four low-cost rabies vaccination clinics in May for owners of cats, dogs or ferrets who are not up to date on their rabies immunization.

Vaccinations will cost only $15 per animal, regardless of breed or weight. Animals attending the clinics are required to be caged or leashed.

The clinics dates and locations are: May 14 at the Port Dover Arena, May 16 at the Delhi Arena, May 21 at the curling building at the fairgrounds in Simcoe, and May 23 at the Waterford Tricenturena. All clinics run from 3 to 8 p.m.

“We hope that the community will take advantage of these low-cost rabies clinics because while rabies is quite rare in our area, we need to be vigilant to keep the disease in check,” said Sandy Stevens, who oversees the rabies prevention program for the local Health Unit.

Rabies is a viral disease that attacks the central nervous system of warm-blooded animals. The virus is carried in the saliva of infected animals, and is transmitted to pets and humans by a bite or scratch, or possibly by contamination of an open cut or mucous membranes. Once symptoms appear, rabies is almost always fatal.

In addition to the health-related reasons for getting pets vaccinated, Stevens also noted that rabies vaccination is mandatory for all dogs and cats in our area.

“Ontario law requires that every cat or dog over the age of three months be immunized against rabies,” explained Stevens. “Pet owners who cannot provide documentation showing proof of current rabies immunization can be fined $85.”

For more information on the rabies clinics in Norfolk County, contact the Simcoe and District Humane Society at[email protected]. The schedule and locations of clinics is also available on the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s website at www.hnhu.org.

In Haldimand County, pet owners who otherwise could not afford a rabies vaccination for their pet can visit any county office to receive a voucher to present to participating veterinarians to receive the rabies vaccine for $15.

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Media contacts:

Cathie Hosken
President
Simcoe and District Humane Society
519-718-0012
[email protected]

Sandy Stevens
Program Coordinator, Healthy Environment Team
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
Ext. 3216 at either 519.426.6170 or 905.318.6623
[email protected]