OSWEGO — The Oswego County Health Department continues its rabies clinics with the new COVID-19 protocols. The next clinic will run from 6-8 p.m. on July 15 at the Hannibal Town Highway Garage on Cemetery Drive.
“Due to the coronavirus, we had to develop new protocols in order to host our rabies clinic last month,” said Judy Grandy, director of environmental health for the Oswego County Health Department. “We had great cooperation from the public for the first clinic and hope that continues. These protocols must remain in place for everyone’s safety.”
The safety plan includes the following guidance:
• Do not attend the clinic if you are – or your pet is – ill.
• All attendees must wear a mask or face covering and practice social distancing by staying six feet away from others whenever possible.
• Pets must be under control at all times. No mingling with other pets and people.
• There will be no “walk-ins.” This is an appointment-only clinic.
Appointments are limited. For those who don’t get one for this event, the health department has re-scheduled its Pulaski rabies clinic for Wednesday, July 29 at the Oswego County Highway Garage on Centerville Road. Protocols and appointments will apply to that clinic as well.
People can call 315-349-3557 to schedule their rabies clinic visit. Phone lines will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 7 and continue weekdays thereafter until the schedule is filled. Please do not call the answering service after hours to schedule an appointment for the rabies clinic.
Attendees are asked to arrive no more than 10 minutes early to their appointment and to wait in their car to be called in. Please follow signs and instructions from clinic staff. Those who miss their assigned appointment will not be served.
There will be limitations for both pets and people. No more than four pets per family and no more than two adults, or an adult and a child aged 14 and older, per car. Younger children will not be allowed into the building. Parents must make sure that they are properly supervised in their car.
Pets must be caged and/or leashed with a fixed length no longer than six feet. Cats and ferrets should be in a carrier. People must maintain control of their pets. Veterinary staff will not be able to attend to the pet in the vehicle.
“The rabies virus is nearly 100 percent fatal to mammals and can infect any mammal,” said Grandy. “Immunizing pets is the most effective way to protect humans and their pets from the rabies virus.”
New York State law requires that all cats, dogs, and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies. The first rabies vaccine should be given at three months of age. Ferrets must be vaccinated annually. Dogs and cats require a second vaccination within one year of the first, and every three years thereafter.
The health department suggests a donation per animal to help defray the clinic cost.
For questions about the rabies clinic or to schedule an appointment, call 315-349-3557.
To report an animal bite or seek guidance concerning potential exposures to rabies, call 315-349-3557 weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. or 315-341-0086 after regular business hours, weekends and holidays. Do not call this number to schedule a clinic appointment.
Additional information about rabies can be found at www.cdc.gov/rabies.