Susan Buckley, RN, Director, Public Health
Ira Singh, MPH, Deputy Director
Donald I. Baird, MD, Health Officer
Division of Environmental Health
PRESS RELEASEDate Released: 6/4/2008
Subject: Annual Low Cost Rabies Vaccination Clinics for 2008 News Release
Contact: Kevin Metcalfe, Environmental Health Division
Phone: (707) 445-6215
Annual Low Cost Rabies Vaccination Clinics for 2008
The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services Environmental Health Division is reminding pet owners of the need to keep their pets current on their rabies vaccinations. This year there will be low cost rabies vaccination clinics sponsored by the Humboldt Del Norte Veterinary Medical Association. Some animal care facilities provide vaccination clinics year round. The Humboldt County Public Health Branch tests over 60 animals each year. These tests are performed because there has been contact between a potentially rabid animal and a pet or a person. In the year 2006 there were five positive animals including 4 bats, and 1 fox. In the year 2007 there were seven positive animals including 4 foxes, 1 bat, 1 skunk, and 1 coyote. For the current year 2008 to this date 21 animal specimens have been submitted for testing with one skunk positive for rabies. Skunks, bats and foxes carry rabies in California. While most of these cases of wildlife rabies occur where populations are greatest such as the Eureka, Fortuna, and Arcata areas, the rabies disease may occur in all areas of the County.
The majority of animal and human exposures to rabies can be prevented by:
1. Domestic animal vaccination
2. Avoiding contact with wildlife
3. Prompt recognition and reporting of possible exposures to medical professionals and Public Health Branch Environmental Health Division
4. Testing of wild animals available
Rabies in humans can be prevented either by eliminating exposures to rabid animals or by providing exposed persons with prompt local treatment of wounds combined with rabies post exposure treatment. Questions regarding possible exposures should be directed promptly to the Public Health Branch Environmental Health Division.
The Environmental Health Division receives weekly calls from concerned people with unvaccinated pets that have had contact with a potentially rabid animal. If an unvaccinated pet (dog or cat) comes in contact with a rabid or suspected rabid animal, the owner has two options:
1. Immediately re-vaccinate and confine the pet in a no touch double enclosure for six months to determine if the pet is infected with rabies
If the wild animal has been captured and euthanized (do not shoot the animal in the head) then it may be tested to eliminate confinement. Keep the specimen cool, but not frozen, to control decay, scavenging, and insects, and contact the Environmental Health Division to arrange for testing.
Rabies is a frightening disease. The anguish caused from contact between an unvaccinated pet and a possible rabid animal is entirely avoidable. Vaccinate your pets and keep them current on vaccinations. Consult with your veterinarian on the frequency for re-vaccination.
If cost has been the reason for not having your pets vaccinated, the low cost rabies county-wide vaccination clinics sponsored by the Humboldt-Del Norte Veterinary Medical Association could be your answer. The Humboldt-Del Norte Veterinary Medical Association offers these low cost rabies vaccination clinics as a public service. These clinics will be vaccinating both dogs and cats at the cost of $6.00 per rabies vaccination. Other canine and feline vaccines will be available. The costs of these vaccines will vary with the clinic.
If you have any question about the clinics, please contact the animal care facility sponsoring the clinic. Questions about rabies should be directed to the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Health Division at (707) 445-6215 or toll free at 1-800-963-9241. Call the main desk for urgent calls regarding testing or confinement of pets. Report animal bites to the animal control agency for your jurisdiction.
The following is a list of scheduled vaccination clinics over the next several weeks:
Saturday, June 7 Animal Medical Center - Fortuna 11 am - 12 noon
Saturday, June 7 Cutten Animal Health Center 9 am - 12 noon
Saturday, June 7 Myrtle Avenue Veterinary Hospital 12 noon 1 pm
Saturday, June 14 Rio Dell City Hall (services provided by Animal Health and Surgery Center) 10 am 11 am
Saturday, June 14 Garberville/Redway Veterinary Group 2 pm - 3pm
Saturday, June 14 Paradise Animal Clinic Willow Creek 12 noon 1 pm
Saturday, June 14 Redwood Animal Hospital - McKinleyville 10 am 11 am
Friday, June 20 Fortuna Veterinary Clinic 9 am 11 am
Friday, June 20 Sunny Brae Animal Clinic 1pm 5pm
Saturday, June 21 McKinleyville Animal Care Center 2 pm 3 pm
Thursday, June 26 Eureka Veterinary Hospital 9 am 11:30 am
Saturday, July 19 Arcata Animal Hospital 11 am 12 noon