Low-cost rabies clinic returns October 6

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The annual series of low-cost rabies clinics launches across Simcoe and Muskoka next week, with a clinic in Huntsville happening on October 6.

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 rabies shots for dogs and cats over three months old.

A schedule of clinics is available on the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s website at www.smdhu.org/rabiesclinics. The Huntsville clinic will be held at Pet Valu on Sunday, October 6 between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., hosted by the Huntsville Animal Hospital. The cost is $20 (cash only) including HST.

One and three-year vaccines are being offered at clinics, depending on the animal’s vaccination status. Pet owners should speak with their vet to determine when their pet is due for its next rabies vaccination. It helps to bring the previous vaccination certificate to a clinic to make sure which vaccine is best.

“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 against rabies to about 4,000 pets last year.

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.

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.

For information on clinic times and dates visit the health unit website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/rabiesclinics, 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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