POUGHKEEPSIE – The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) is partnering with the Dutchess County SPCA to host a free rabies vaccination clinic for pets on Saturday, September 25, 2021, at Pleasant Valley Town Hall located at 1554 Main Street in Pleasant Valley.
The clinic will run from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. To ensure proper social distancing, all attendees are required to pre-register for the clinic. To register, visit the DCSPCA website at DCSPCA.org. Pre-registrations can also be made by calling the DCSPCA at 845-452-7722, x425.
The rabies clinic will offer Dutchess County residents the opportunity to obtain rabies shots free of charge for their dogs, cats, and domestic ferrets. Proof of residency is required. Non-residents will be charged a fee of $10 per pet vaccinated. All dogs must be on a leash, and cats and domestic ferrets must be in carriers. Vaccinations will be good for three years for pets with proper proof of prior immunization. For those without proof, the vaccination will be good for one year.
People can protect themselves against rabies by making sure their pets are up to date on their rabies vaccination. In New York State, rabies shots are required for all cats, dogs, and domestic ferrets by the age of four months. Animals must always remain up to date on rabies shots. Revaccination is required on a regular schedule to keep the animal properly immunized against the rabies virus. Owners can be fined up to $200 if they fail to get their pets vaccinated and keep them up to date.
If pets are not vaccinated or not up to date on their rabies vaccination and fight with a rabid or suspect-rabid animal, the pet must be promptly destroyed or placed in quarantine for six months to protect other animals and people in case the pet develops rabies. These mandates do not apply for a vaccinated pet in the same situation. In such cases, only a booster dose of the rabies vaccine would be given within five days to treat the pet.
Residents who see an animal acting strangely, are advised to contact their local police agency. If a person has been bitten, or a domestic pet is bitten or is in contact with any animal, contact DBCH immediately at 845-486-3404 Monday through Friday 9 AM-5 PM, or 845-431-6465 on nights and weekends.
To learn more about rabies please visit https://www.dutchessny.gov/Departments/DBCH/Rabies-Zoonotics.htm or contact DCBH at HealthInfo@dutchessny.gov.