OSWEGO — The Oswego County Health Department reminds residents that COVID-19 protocols will be in place for all remaining rabies clinics this year. The next scheduled clinic runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at the Parish Department of Public Works at 24 Dill Pickle Alley.
“We had to establish new safety measures earlier this season due to the coronavirus,” said Judy Grandy, director of environmental health for the Oswego County Health Department. “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 COVID-19 protocols include making an appointment for a pet in advance.
Grandy said, “Unfortunately, we have had to turn away a number of 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 a County Health Department rabies clinic, please make sure that you call ahead for an appointment.”
The appointment phone line for this clinic opens on Monday, Sept. 21. People can call 315-349-3557 from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays to make an appointment until the schedule is filled. Do not call the answering service after hours to schedule an appointment for the rabies clinic.
Appointments are limited. For those who don’t get one for this event, the next and final rabies clinic will be on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at the Oswego County Highway Garage at 31 Schaad Drive in Scriba. Protocols and appointments will apply to that clinic as well. Appointments for that clinic will be scheduled at a later date.
Other COVID-19 protocols include:
• Do not attend the clinic if you are – or your 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.
Attendees are asked to arrive no more than 10 minutes early to their appointment and to wait in their car to be called in. Please 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 children 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 and it is nearly 100% fatal. 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.
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.