As the weather is more conducive to outdoor activity for humans and their pets, the Essex County Public Health Department wants to make sure all are protected against rabies.
Director Linda Beers said the department has already received a number of reports of wild animals moving about in communities and concerns about rabies.
“It is essential for pet owners to make sure their pets are up to date with their rabies vaccinations,” Beers said. “We have rabies clinics scheduled throughout Essex County for the whole year so people can plan and we may add clinics if needed.”
Beers said that animal owners need to make sure pets and livestock are up to date with their rabies vaccinations; should feed pets indoors and don’t leave pets outside unattended; avoid contact with wild animals and stray or unknown cats and dogs; and tightly cap garbage cans and avoid attracting wild animals to your yard with birdseed or other food.
To help with providing rabies vaccination, Public Health has scheduled a number of clinics in the region over the next few months. All clinics will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. at the appointed site. Pet cat, dog and ferrets may receive vaccination no charge; a donation of $5 per pet will be accepted.
In May, rabies clinics will be held at the Elizabethtown Fire Hall (May 6), the Au Sable Forks Ambulance Hall (15), Schroon Lake Fire Hall (21) and Willsboro Highway Garage (29).
June clinics will be held at the Lake Placid horseshow grounds on the third and the Bloomingdale Fire Hall on the 26th. The Moriah Town Hall will host a clinic July 15, followed by the Wilmington Fire Hall July 31.
In August, The Minerva Fire Hall will host a clinic on the 12th, followed by the Essex Highway Garage on the 19th and Keene Fire Hall on the 21st. September clinics will be held at the Westport Fire Hall (16th) and North Hudson Fire Hall (23rd). The clinic schedule ends at the Lewis Fire Hall Oct. 9 and the Ticonderoga Fire Hall Oct. 15.
Beers cautioned that in the case of wild animals, especially a raccoon, skunk, fox or bat, people should stay away and keep children away, keep pets indoors and let the animal go away on its own.
You may also call a nuisance wildlife control officer who may remove the animal for a fee. Call the Essex County Public Health Department at 873-3500 to report a contact or if you have any questions.
Visit www.co.essex.ny.us/publichealth for the clinic schedule and to learn more about rabies.