The rabies clinics are free for all Clinton County residents. But Essex County residents and pet owners will not be turned away due to the rabies situation in that area, Williams said. Donations are accepted.
The Health Department offers this advice:
▶ Report any sick or strange-acting wildlife: Clinton County, 565-4870; Essex County, 873-3500; and Franklin County, 481-1709.
▶ Vaccinate pets and livestock. State law requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies by 4 months of age. Vaccination is also recommended for livestock with frequent human contact, such as horses and cows.
▶ Do not feed wildlife or stray animals and discourage them from seeking food near your home. Keep garbage cans tightly covered, and avoid storing any food outside.
▶ Do not approach an unknown animal, either wild or domestic, especially if it is acting in a strange or unusual manner.
▶ Report all animal bites and any contact with bats to the Health Department in your county.
▶ Children should be instructed to tell an adult immediately if they were bitten or scratched by any wild animal.
▶ To prevent the possible spread of the rabies virus, no one, including trappers and nuisance-wildlife rehabilitators, should transport and relocate any wild animals at this time.
▶ If an unvaccinated pet comes in contact with a rabid or suspected rabid animal, the pet must be quarantined for six months. The quarantine must be approved by local public health officials.
▶ Vaccinated pets that come in contact with a rabid or suspected rabies animal must be given a booster rabies vaccination within five days of the contact.
All pets must be at least 3 months old to be vaccinated for their initial rabies vaccination, be revaccinated a year later, then at least every three years after for the rest of their lives.
All animals must be on a leash or in a carrier to be admitted to a rabies clinic.
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