Low-cost rabies clinics are back

Pet owners can take advantage of a series of rotating rabies clinics across Simcoe and Muskoka. Thanks to local participating veterinarians, the clinics are being held to provide low-cost rabies vaccines at select locations across the region.
This year there are 21 clinics and about 18 participating vets to make it easier to attend. They start on Sept. 26 and run through Nov. 11 to provide an inexpensive way to get the rabies shots for dogs and cats more than three months old.

“We’re really grateful to the veterinarians who are giving their time to these clinics,” said Tanya Fehr, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit rabies program coordinator. “Pet owners are required by law to have their pets immunized against rabies and, with the number of clinics this year, we hope to be able to build significantly on the protection against rabies across the region.”

Last year, the clinics provided vaccines to about 4,000 pets.

Rabies clinics are just one important part of a broader program to prevent rabies from occurring in Simcoe and Muskoka. Thanks to vaccination of pets, baiting of wild racoons and foxes and public awareness, Ontario’s incidence of rabies is lower than many other areas in North America. Although, vigilance remains critical. Health unit staff investigated 1,242 animal exposure incidents in 2017. Many of the investigations resulted in rabies vaccine for people as a precaution.

As well as the mandatory rabies vaccination, you can help prevent the spread of rabies by not allowing your pets to roam free, keeping them indoors at night. Remind your family to stay away from unfamiliar dogs and cats as well as all wildlife, including bats.

Visit the health unit website at smdhu.org/rabiesclinics for a schedule of clinics or call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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