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From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein 

Date: February 5, 2019                                


CONTACT: Daniel Meyer


Phone: (716) 858-2890




First clinic in 2019 for dogs, cats and ferrets; ECDOH’s previously scheduled event in January was postponed due to inclement weather


ERIE COUNTY, NY— Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein have announced the date of the first of six free rabies vaccination clinics that will be provided by the Erie County Department of Health this year is scheduled to be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. The clinic will be held at the North Buffalo Community Center, which is located at 203 Sanders Road in North Buffalo.


This event will be held in place of the previously scheduled January 30 rabies vaccination clinic, which had to be postponed due to inclement weather and a state of emergency that was declared in Erie County.


“Our free rabies clinics offer pet owners in Erie County help with protecting families and their beloved animals from rabies,” said Poloncarz. “I strongly encourage all owners of dogs, cats and ferrets in our community to take advantage of this valuable and mandated public health initiative.”


“These vaccinations are an excellent way to minimize the spread of rabies from wildlife to pets and humans,” said Burstein. “We are very pleased to continue working closely with our longtime rabies clinic partners. It is because of the efforts of the Niagara Frontier Veterinary Society, the Medaille College Veterinary Technology Program and the SPCA Serving Erie County that we are able to provide this vital and very popular service to members of our community.”


In 2018 a total of 3,113 dogs, 906 cats and 17 ferrets were vaccinated countywide through the free rabies clinics that were offered. Included in that figure are 434 animals that were vaccinated at the North Buffalo Community Center last January.


Any pet is at risk of being exposed to a rabid wild animal and rabies is always fatal in animals. Bats in particularly often find their way into certain homes, especially while seeking warmth in the winter. ECDOH identified a total of 21 different animals (20 bats, 1fox) that tested positive for rabies in 2018.


“Our goal every year is to have 100 percent of Erie County pets vaccinated to protect them from rabies,” said Erie County Department of Health Senior Public Health Sanitarian Peter Tripi. “It is particularly important that both ‘indoor’ and ‘outdoor’ cats receive vaccinations since a rabid animal such as a bat could enter into your home undetected. Despite the best efforts of most pet owners, ‘indoor’ cats occasionally escape to explore the outdoor areas of where they live and therefore become at great risk for encountering a rabid animal. We’ve learned that it doesn’t matter where you live: city, suburbs and rural locations all face the risk of exposure to rabies.”

Additional rabies vaccination clinics will be held later this year, with locations, times, dates and other details about each of those clinics to be announced at a later date.

“I also want to remind all Erie County residents that if they or their pets ever become exposed to a wild animal or are bitten by a dog or cat to contact the Erie County Department of Health at (716) 961-6800,” said Burstein. “Our Environmental Health Services employees are always ready, willing and able to assist with advice on how to deal with exposure to a rabid animal.”

For more information:

Call (716) 961-6800 or visit 


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