Vaccinate your pets against rabies now

Published 2:00 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2016

AMERICUS — They’re like a member of your family. You’d do just about anything to protect your dog or cat. Vaccinating your pet against rabies could save their life, and protect you and your family against this fatal disease.
Rabies is commonly found in raccoons, skunks, foxes, bobcats, bats, coyotes and other carnivores. A typical rabies case involves a rabid animal coming into the yard of a home and fighting with a pet dog or cat. Any animal bitten or scratched by either a wild, carnivorous mammal or a bat that can’t be found for rabies testing should be regarded as having been exposed to rabies. The consequences to your favorite four-legged friend are dire. If they do not have a current rabies vaccination, then the recommendation would be to euthanize immediately or put in strict quarantine for six months, with no human contact. And if you live in Georgia, it’s not just a good idea to have your pets vaccinated — it’s the law (Rabies Control Law-O.C.G.A-31-19).
Spring is a good time of year to get your dogs and cats vaccinated, especially since the Sumter County Environmental Health Services will be sponsoring rabies vaccination clinics throughout Sumter County the first two weeks of May. Local veterinarians will be offering rabies vaccinations at a significantly discounted cost of only $10 per pet.  Check with your local environmental health office 229-928-2982, or check the Times-Recorder for upcoming clinic dates, times and locations.
Do the right thing for your pets and your family by having your dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies this spring. If you think you, your pets or livestock may have been exposed to rabies, you can get information and guidance from your county health department, veterinarian, county animal control or the Georgia Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. Additional information on rabies exposure can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at