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Clinic aims to control rabies in county

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By Amanda Hensley

By AMANDA HENSLEY

The News-Democrat

The second most important thing you should do for your animals is to get them vaccinated, said veterinarian Dwight Wallace. The first is to get them wormed.

Saturday is your chance to take care of both, and at a reduced price.

Wallace of Wallace Animal Clinic in Carrollton is teaming up with the Three Rivers District Health Department to offer an annual rabies clinic from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, July 19, in the parking lot of the Carroll County Health Department at 401 11th St.

Rabies vaccines will be offered for $5; a complete round of vaccinations, including rabies, distemper and parvo, will be availble for $20.

The cost of the vaccinations during the clinic barely covers the cost of the vaccine, Wallace said. “This is the cheapest price they’ll [pet owners] ever get. We do it at cost.”

The clinic is set up primarily for cats, dogs and ferrets in the county, but Wallace said owners can bring their horses, too.

Wallace said many horse owners don’t know that the large animals run the same risk for contracting rabies as smaller pets. And if the horse is at risk, so are the people who own them, said Wallace, who has practiced veterinary medicine for more than 30 years.

He says it's time  people are educated that horses should be vaccinated as well. “In 34 years, I’ve known several children bit by horses,” he said.

Don Jacobs, senior health environmentalist for Three Rivers Health District, reminds pet owners that getting your animals vaccinated is a requirement, not an option. “It is a state law that every dog, cat and ferret be vaccinated for rabies on a yearly basis.”

The vaccine that will be given on Saturday is good for three years, but some vets, include Wallace, recommend animals be vaccinated every 12 months.

It is crucial that pet owners bring their animals to the clinic in crates, cages or on leashes – for everyone's safety, including the pets'. One pet owner lost a cat that wasn't properly crated at a clinic several years ago.

Wallace said that 10-20 animal rabies cases occur each year in the state of Kentucky, adding that those are just the cases that officials are aware of. “100 times that are never reported.”

Rabies clinics also will be offered Saturday by the health departments in Warsaw and Owenton. Pet owners in Gallatin and Owen counties should contact their local health department for more information.