The Oswego County Health Department reminds residents that COVID-19 protocols will remain in place for all upcoming rabies clinics. The next scheduled clinic runs from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 12 at the Oswego County Bristol Hill Landfill Solid Waste Facility on NYS Route 3 in Volney.
“We will continue taking appointments for rabies clinics for the rest of the year,” said Judy Grandy, director of environmental health for the Oswego County Health Department. “We had to establish some new safety measures this year due to the coronavirus. We are grateful to everyone for their understanding and support in the clinics we’ve had, and hope that continues as we move forward with the rest of the schedule.”
The new safety plan includes the following guidance:
• Do not attend the clinic if sick – or a pet is – ill.
• All attendees must wear a mask or face covering and practice social distancing by staying six feet away from others whenever possible.
• Pets must be under control at all times. No mingling with other pets and people.
• There will be no “walk-ins.” This is an appointment-only clinic.
Appointments are limited. For those who don’t get one for this event, the next rabies clinic will be on Wednesday, Aug. 26 at the Hastings Town Highway Garage on Wilson Road in Central Square. This is re-scheduled from the June clinic that was postponed due to the coronavirus.
The appointment phone line will open on Monday, Aug. 3 for the Volney rabies clinic. At that time, people can call 315-349-3557 to schedule an appointment. Phone lines will be open from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays until the schedule is filled. Do not call the answering service after hours to schedule an appointment for the rabies clinic. Appointments for the Aug. 26 rabies clinic in Hastings will not be scheduled until Aug. 17.
Attendees are asked to arrive no more than 10 minutes early to their appointment and to wait in their car to be called in. Follow signs and instructions from clinic staff. Those who miss their assigned appointment will not be served.
There will be limitations for both pets and people. No more than four pets per family and no more than two adults, or an adult and a child aged 14 and older, per car. Younger children will not be allowed into the building. Parents must make sure that they are properly supervised in their car.
Pets must be caged and/or leashed with a fixed length no longer than six feet. Cats and ferrets should be in a carrier. People must maintain control of their pets. Veterinary staff will not be able to leave their stations to deliver shots to a pet in the vehicle.
“The rabies virus is nearly 100 percent fatal to mammals and can infect any mammal,” said Grandy. “Immunizing pets is the most effective protection from the disease.”
New York state law requires that all cats, dogs, and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies. The first rabies vaccine should be given at three months of age. Ferrets must be vaccinated annually. Dogs and cats require a second vaccination within one year of the first, and every three years thereafter.
The health department suggests a $7 donation per animal to help defray the clinic cost.
To report an animal bite or seek guidance concerning potential exposures to rabies, call 315-349-3557 weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. or 315-341-0086 after regular business hours, weekends and holidays. Do not call this number to schedule a clinic appointment.
Additional information about rabies can be found at www.cdc.gov/rabies.