MILAN, N.Y. -- The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health is hosting free rabies vaccination clinic on Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Milan Town Hall.
The clinic is in partnership with the Dutchess County SPCA, for dogs, cats and domestic ferrets who are at least 3 months old. Proof of residency is required for the free vaccinations, though non-residents can also use the clinic, at a cost of $10 per pet.
"This pet rabies vaccination clinic will offer residents, especially those in the northern region of Dutchess County, an opportunity to have their dogs, cats and ferrets vaccinated at no cost, giving them protection should they encounter a rabid animal," said DBCH Commissioner Henry Kurban.
"I am especially pleased to have the Dutchess County SPCA assist us with administering these vaccines and the Town of Milan for providing their facility."
Dogs must be leashed, and cats and ferrets must be in carriers. Vaccinations will be good for three years for pets with proper proof of a prior immunization. Without it, the vaccination will be good for one year.
In New York State, rabies shots are required for all cats, dogs and ferrets by the age of four months. Regular re-vaccination is then required, to keep the animal properly immunized. Owners can be fined up to $200 if they don't vaccinate and keep it up to date.
The clinic will run from 8 a.m. to noon. The Town Hall is located at 20 Wilcox Circle, and it has onsite parking.
Kurban reminds pet owners of the importance of vaccinating all dogs, cats and ferrets, even if they are considered "house pets" and remain indoors.
If a pet is not up-to-date on its rabies vaccination and fights with a rabid or suspect-rabid animal, the pet must be promptly destroyed or placed in quarantine for six months. In contrast, up-to-date pets would only need a booster dose of rabies vaccine would be given within five days to treat the pet.
DBCH is available around the clock to respond to inquiries or concerns regarding potential rabies exposures to people or domestic animals. Pet owners should report any incident where their pet has been bitten by or has an open wound exposed to the saliva or nervous tissue of a domestic or wild animal. Staff will investigate and advise the pet owner of any necessary steps that they should take to ensure the safety of their animal.
Folks with urgent inquiries can call 845-431-6465 if an incident occurs after business hours. To learn more about rabies during business hours, call 845-486-3404 or visit the department's website.