Floyd County Environmental Health, along with Floyd County Animal Control and local veterinarians, will conduct a rabies vaccination clinic for cats and dogs on Sept. 22 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot of the Floyd County Health Department, 16 E. 12th St. Animals must be healthy, at least twelve weeks of age and on a leash or in a pet carrier. Cost for the rabies vaccination is $10.
Veterinarians from East Rome Animal Clinic, West Rome Animal Clinic, and Mount Berry Animal Hospital will be giving the rabies shots. Floyd County Animal Control staff will be assisting.
According to Floyd County Health Department Environmental Health Manager, Shane Hendrix, “as of September 1, Floyd County has had eight confirmed cases of animal rabies this year -- in four raccoons, 2 foxes, a bat, and one cat. The most recent case, a fox, was confirmed July 10th. Our office has also investigated 206 animal-bite cases this year, which included bites to humans as well as domestic pets exposed to wild animals such as raccoons, bats and skunks.”
“Rabies is a deadly virus that is always circulating in our wild animal population,” Hendrix said, “and getting your pet vaccinated is the single best way to protect them from rabies. It’s important to do it for their protection, for our protection, and because it’s state law. So, come by the health department on September 22 and get your dog or cat vaccinated.”
“Your pets and other domestic animals can be infected when they are bitten by rabid wild animals,” Hendrix said. “When ‘spillover’ rabies occurs in domestic animals, the risk to humans is increased. We require pets to be vaccinated against rabies to prevent them from acquiring the disease from wildlife and possibly transmitting it to you,” Hendrix said. “The rabies vaccination protects you, too.”
Hendrix encouraged people with pets to:
- Visit your veterinarian with your pet on a regular basis and keep rabies vaccinations up-to-date for all cats, ferrets, and dogs,
- Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or vaccinated regularly and
- Call Floyd County Animal Control at (706) 236-4537 to remove all stray animals from your neighborhood since these animals may be unvaccinated or ill.
For more information about the September 22 rabies vaccination clinic, contact the Floyd County Environmental Health office at 706-295-6316. For additional information about rabies, visit http://www.cdc.gov/rabies or http://nwgapublichealth.org/environmental-health/rabies/.