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Free Rabies Clinic for Westchester Pets Sunday

The one-day vaccination clinic is sponsored by the Westchester County Health Department.

Photo credit: Flickr user Mosman Council
Photo credit: Flickr user Mosman Council
Written by Michael Woyton

Westchester County residents can get their cats and dogs vaccinated free of charge Sunday at the New Rochelle Humane Society.

No appointment is necessary for the event that runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Humane Society's location, 70 Portman Rd. 

Cats must be in carriers and dogs must be on a leash. Dogs that are aggressive toward people or other dogs are not allowed. No examinations will be given.

“Vaccinating your pet against rabies will protect your pet and your family in case your pet has contact with a rabid or potentially rabid animal,” said Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD.

Under New York State law, dogs and cats must receive their first rabies vaccine no later than four months after birth. A second rabies shot must be given within one year of the first vaccine, with additional booster shots given every one or three years after that, depending on the vaccine used. 

Owners who fail to get their pets vaccinated and keep the vaccinations up-to-date may be fined up to $2,000.

Rabies is a fatal disease that is spread through the bite or saliva of infected animals. Those animals most commonly infected are raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes. However, domestic animals such as cats and dogs are also at risk because they can easily contract rabies from wild or stray animals.

A pet that is up-to-date with its rabies vaccinations would only need a booster dose of vaccine within five days of its exposure to a known or suspect rabid animal. Animals not current with rabies vaccinations would need to be quarantined or potentially euthanized following contact with a rabid or suspect- rabid animal.

For more information, visit www.westchestergov.com/health.

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