Pet owners can take advantage of a series of rotating rabies clinics across Simcoe and Muskoka over the next five weeks.
Thanks to local participating veterinarians, the clinics are being held to provide low-cost rabies vaccines at select locations across the region.
The clinics provide an inexpensive way to get the rabies shots for dogs and cats over three months old.
This year there are 21 clinics and about 18 participating vets to make it easier to attend. They start on September 26th and run through to November 11th.
A schedule of clinics is on the health unit’s website at www.smdhu.org/rabiesclinics.
“We’re really grateful to the veterinarians who are giving their time to these clinics,” said rabies program coordinator Tanya Fehr with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. “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.”
The clinics provided vaccines to about 4,000 pets against rabies last year.
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 raccoons and foxes and public awareness, Ontario’s incidence of rabies is lower than many other areas in North America.
Vigilance remains critical, though. 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.
If you have not already had your dog or cat vaccinated during a routine veterinary visit, then take advantage of the low-cost rabies clinics in your area and get your dog or cat vaccinated.
For information on clinic times and dates visit the health unit website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org 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.