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A beagle mix hangs out with its owner while waiting for a rabies shot at a previous year's free clinic at the St. Lawrence County Human Services building in Canton. Watertown Daily Times

CANTON — St. Lawrence County residents are reminded of the importance of having their pets vaccinated for rabies and will have ample opportunities though clinics offered this year.

The St. Lawrence County Public Health Department, which hosts four free clinics, said in a news release that by vaccinating pets and keeping them away from wildlife, it helps keep pets and their owners safe.

“Rabies is a preventable disease, but if pets are left unvaccinated, it can be fatal,” the department release stated. “Rabies spreads to humans or to pets by being scratched or bitten by a rabid animal.”

In 2019, a total of 3,101 pets were vaccinated thanks to the 26 free clinics held by numerous municipalities throughout the county.

“You can help protect yourself and your pets from rabies by having your pets vaccinated, staying away from wildlife and seeking immediate medical care after a scratch or bite from a presumed rabid animal,” the release stated. “Be sure to check your rabies certificate to see when your furry friend needs their next vaccination (typically 1 or 3 years after last vaccination).”

The St. Lawrence County Public Health Department is continuing its use of the online registration system. The online pre-registration process has replaced filling out forms during the clinic, which has helped cut down on wait times and provides pet owners with a printed easy-to-read rabies certificate. Pre-registration has also helped guarantee the appropriate amount of vaccine is available at each clinic. Preregistration can be done by visiting the St. Lawrence County Public Health website one week prior to the clinic at www.stlawco.org/departments/public health/rabiescontrol or from the Public Health Facebook page SLCPublicHealth.

Clinics that require preregistration will be held at the St. Lawrence County Human Services Building, 80 Route 310, Suite 1 and will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 18 and Sept. 15, and from 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 14.

The first of the 20 clinics throughout the county that do not require preregistration will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on March 31 at the Norwood Fire station.

For the full list of times, dates and locations, visit http://wdt.me/PmJERP.

For additional information regarding the rabies clinics, please call the Public Health Department at (315) 386-2325.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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