Modified: December 8, 2017 4:06pm
From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein
December 8, 2017
CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov
Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925
Free January Rabies Vaccination Clinic
ECDOH Vaccinated 4,496 Pets at Six Clinics in 2017
ERIE COUNTY, NY— Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein are pleased to announce the date of the first of six free rabies vaccination clinics provided by the Erie County Department of Health (“ECDOH”) in 2018. The Clinic will be on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. The clinic will be held from 3 – 7 pm at the North Buffalo Community Center at 203 Sanders Road in North Buffalo.
“Our free rabies clinics are a great way for Erie County to help protect families and their pets from rabies” said Poloncarz. “In 2017, 1,129 cats, 3,335 dogs and 32 ferrets (total = 4,496) were vaccinated countywide through these clinics. I strongly encourage pet owners around the County to take advantage of this valuable and mandated public health initiative.”
“These vaccinations are a good way to minimize the spread of rabies from wildlife to pets and humans,” added Burstein. “I want to remind Erie County residents that if they or their pets have been exposed to a wild animal, or bitten by a dog or cat, they should contact the Erie County Department of Health at 716-961-6800.”
Burstein continued: “We are pleased to continue working with our long-time rabies clinic partners. The invaluable assistance of the Niagara Frontier Veterinary Society, the SPCA serving Erie County, the veterinary technology program at Medaille College, and volunteers from Erie County's Specialized Medical Assistance Response Team (“SMART”) truly help us provide this vital and popular service to our community.”
Any pet is at risk of being exposed to a rabid wild animal and rabies is always fatal in animals. Bats often find their way into homes, especially while seeking warmth in the winter. To date, ECDOH has identified 15 animals (bats, raccoons, skunk, sheep) that tested positive for rabies in 2017.
Senior Public Health Sanitarian, Peter Tripi added “Our goal is to have 100% of Erie County pets vaccinated to protect them from rabies. It is important that both “indoor” and “outdoor” cats receive vaccinations as a rabid animal such as a bat could enter your home undetected. In addition, despite owners’ best efforts, indoor cats occasionally escape to explore the great outdoors where they are at great risk for encountering a rabid animal no matter where you live, city, suburbs or a rural location.” Additional rabies vaccination clinics will be held in May (2) and September (3) of 2018 with dates and details to be announced at a later date.
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