County offers free rabies clinics for Orange County pets


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  • Photo by Ginny Raue Two free rabies clinics for both cats and dogs are being offered in Orange County in September.



– When it comes to fighting rabies, prevention is essential and starts with the pet owner.

To safeguard the health of Orange County residents and their pets, the Department of Health is collaborating with Helpers for Shelters to provide a free rabies vaccination clinic for residents’ pets on Sunday, Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Pine Bush Tractor Supply Store at 2401 State Route 52. To register, call Helpers for Shelters at 845-344-4046. A second free rabies clinic will be held in collaboration with the City of Newburgh at their Multi-Activity Center on Saturday, Sept. 28, from noon to 3 p.m. The Activity Center is located at 401 Washington St., Newburgh. To register, call 845-569-7311. Pre-registration for both clinics is recommended.

“Ensuring your family’s pet is properly vaccinated prior to possible exposure is critical to protecting yourself, your pet, and your community from rabies,” cautions Orange County Commissioner of Health Dr. Eli Avila. “When the family dog or cat is unvaccinated and exposed to rabies it can threaten the lives of all family members,” added Avila.

The clinics are open to cats and dogs of Orange County residents only. All pets must be restrained by leash or carrier and proof of prior vaccination should be brought to the clinic for the three-year shot.

In addition to keeping vaccinations current, Avila offers some easy-to-follow tips to protect against rabies.

Never touch unfamiliar or wild animals.

Avoid direct contact with stray animals. Stray cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies may not have been vaccinated against rabies.

If you are bitten, wash bite wounds with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.

If your pet is bitten, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Never adopt wild animals including cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies or bring them into your home.

Do not try to nurse sick or injured wild animals back to health. Call an animal control person or an animal rescue group so they can take care of everything safely.

Make sure your trash cans are secure and do not leave pet food out. You do not want to attract wild animals near your home.

If a bat is found in your house and you can safely catch the bat, do so and it can be tested.

Prompt and appropriate treatment after being bitten and before the disease develops can stop rabies infection and/or prevent the disease in humans and animals.

For more information about rabies, contact the Orange County Health Department at 845-291-2331.

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