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Low-cost rabies clinics are back

Sep 22, 2020
SIMCOE COUNTY – The annual series of low-cost rabies clinics will be launching this week across Simcoe County.

SIMCOE COUNTY – The annual series of low-cost rabies clinics will be launching this week across Simcoe County. Due to COVID 19 and the extra demands that have been placed on our local veterinarians, the number of clinics being offered this year has been significantly reduced.

The clinics provide an affordable way to get the rabies shots for dogs and cats over three months old.

The first clinic will be held on Sept. 27 in Tottenham with additional clinics in Barrie, Creemore, Oro-Medonte and Penetang, through to October 25. A schedule of clinics is on the health unit’s website at www.smdhu.org/rabiesclinics. Each clinic may have special COVID-19 safety measure for attending sites so please read carefully.

Please do not visit a clinic if you are ill and if you do attend a clinic, wear a face covering and practice physical distancing. p>

One and three-year vaccines are being offered at clinics, depending on the animal’s vaccination status. Pet owners should speak with their vet to determine when their pet is due for its next rabies vaccination. It helps to bring the previous vaccination certificate to a clinic to make sure which vaccine is best.

“We’re really grateful to the veterinarians who are giving their time to these clinics this year, given the extra demands put on them during COVID-19,” said rabies program coordinator Felicia Ratiu with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. “Pet owners are required by law to have their pets immunized against rabies so every clinic helps. For those unable to attend the limited clinic locations, please contact your local veterinarian.”

The clinics provided vaccines against rabies to about 4,000 pets last year.

Thanks to vaccination of pets, baiting of wild raccoons and foxes and public awareness, Ontario’s incidence of rabies is lower than many other areas in North America.

As well as the mandatory rabies vaccination you can help prevent the spread of rabies by not allowing your pets to roam free and keeping them indoors at night. Remind your family to stay away from unfamiliar dogs and cats as well as all wildlife, including bats.

For information on clinic times and dates visit the health unit website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/rabiesclinics, or call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520, Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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