OSWEGO - The Oswego County Health Department will hold its next rabies vaccination clinic for pets from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14, at the Bristol Hill Landfill maintenance garage, 3125 state Route 3, Volney.

Judy Grandy, Director of Environmental Health for the Oswego County Health Department, said the rabies virus is widespread in Central New York this summer. Immunizing pets is the most effective way to protect humans and their pets from the rabies virus. The rabies virus is nearly 100 percent fatal to mammals and can infect any mammal. 

A currently vaccinated pet (dog, cat or ferret) that is exposed to a potentially rabid animal is required to receive a booster shot. An unvaccinated pet similarly exposed must be placed in strict isolation for six months or be euthanized.

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. 

Rabies vaccination clinics for pets will be held in the following locations this summer and fall:

- Volney:Wednesday, Aug. 14, 6-8 p.m., Bristol Hill Landfill maintenance garage, 3125 state Route 3.

- Pulaski: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 6-8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 957 Centerville Road.

- Scriba:Wednesday, Nov. 6, 6-8 p.m., County Highway Garage, 31 Schaad Drive.

Owners should bring their pet’s last rabies vaccination certificate with them to the clinic. 

The health department suggests a donation per animal to help defray the clinic cost. Dogs should be leashed, and cats and ferrets should be in a carrier. Please leave sick pets at home.

Any time a person or pet comes in contact with a sick or suspicious-acting animal, the incident should be reported to the county health department as soon as possible. A bite or scratch on the skin should be washed immediately with soap and water.

To report a possible exposure, or for more information about rabies, call the Oswego County Health Department weekdays at 315-349-3564.  In an emergency during evenings, weekends or holidays, call the health department’s answering service at 315-341-0086.

Additional information about rabies can be found at www.cdc.gov/rabies.

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