OSWEGO — The Oswego County Health Department will hold its next rabies clinic from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5, at the Oswego County Highway Garage on Centerville Road in Pulaski.
Starting on Thursday, April 29, residents can call 315-349-3557 to schedule an appointment. The phone line for appointments will be open weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. until all appointments are filled. Do not call the after-hours answering service to schedule an appointment for the rabies clinic.
The Oswego County Health Department reminds residents that making an appointment for a pet is one of the COVID-19 protocols that remains in place for all rabies clinics.
Judy Grandy, director of environmental health for the Oswego County Health Department said, “Unfortunately, we had to turn away people who were unaware of this protocol, so we really want to emphasize to people that appointments are required. If you or someone you know is planning to bring their pet to one of these rabies clinics, please make sure to call ahead for an appointment.”
Other COVID-19 protocols include:
— Do not attend the clinic if a person or a pet is ill.
— Everyone entering the building 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.
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 health department suggests a $7 donation per animal to help defray the clinic cost.
Grandy said, “The rabies virus can infect any mammal. It is nearly always fatal if left untreated and remains active during the winter months. 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.
All animal bites, whether from a domestic animal or wildlife, should be reported to the Oswego County Health Department as soon as possible. Health Department staff will work with residents and health care providers to determine if rabies treatment is needed.
To report an animal bite or seek guidance concerning potential exposures to rabies, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3557, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; or 315-341-0086 after regular business hours, weekends and holidays. Do not call this number after hours to schedule an appointment for a rabies clinic.
Additional information about rabies can be found at https://health.oswegocounty.com/programs/environmental1/rabies_program2.php and www.cdc.gov/rabies.