The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer
Franklin County Public Safety will host a rabies clinic Saturday, Oct. 12 from 8 a.m. to noon in the Franklin County Government Center parking lot.
Cost for vaccinating pets will be $8 per vaccine.
County dog licenses will also be available for 2014.
Rabies is well-established throughout Virginia, according to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).
The disease can be spread by any mammal, but is most often found in raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats.
While people do sometimes come into direct contact with wild animals, the most likely way for them to be exposed to rabies is by bites from unvaccinated dogs or cats.
According to the VDH, rabies infections have been confirmed in two animals in Franklin County so far in 2013 - one fox and one skunk.
In 2012, there were four confirmed cases.
Across Virginia, there have been 369 confirmed cases of animal rabies so far this year. In 2012, there were 562.
Rabies is a fatal disease that is caused by a virus found in the saliva and nervous tissue (brain and nerve cells) of infected animals. It is transmitted most often by a bite. Rabies causes inflammation of the brain and is almost always fatal once symptoms develop.
Exposure to bats is a serious concern. Bats have very small, sharp teeth, and a bite from an infected bat could go unnoticed. Anyone who comes into contact with a bat or finds a bat in the house should contact the health department, doctor or animal control office immediately.
Rabies is fatal unless treated before symptoms start. The VDH says the best ways to protect your family and pets are to:
•Have your veterinarian vaccinate your dogs, cats, ferrets and selected livestock. Keep the vaccinations up-to-date;
•If your pet is attacked or bitten by a wild animal, report it to the local health or animal control authorities. Be sure your vaccinated dog, cat or ferret receives a booster vaccination;
•Limit the possibility of exposure by keeping your animals on your property. Don't let pets roam free;
•Do not leave garbage or pet food outside. It may attract wild or stray animals; and
•Do not keep wild animals as pets. Enjoy all wild animals from a distance, even if they seem friendly. A rabid animal sometimes acts tame. If you see an animal acting strangely, report it to your local animal control department and do not go near it yourself.
For more information, contact your local health department or visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/Epidemiology/DEE/Rabies.
Further questions regarding the local rabies clinic can be answered by contacting the Franklin County Animal Shelter at (540) 483-7440 or Public Safety at (540) 483-3091.
The event will take place rain or shine.