Onondaga county's free rabies shot clinic program returns tonight to Meachem Ice Rink, 121 W. Seneca Turnpike in the city of Syracuse. The clinic is open to Onondaga county residents for their domestic pets on Thursday, June 23 from 5 – 7 p.m. Meachem Ice Rink is located in Syracuse's Valley neighborhood on the southwest edge of the city.
County residents should bring their dogs, cats and ferrets on leash or in carriers. Bring with each pet any past shot records. All rabies shots are free for domestic pets owned by Onondaga county residents, but the clinic will accept a voluntary donation per family.
NY State Public Health Law requires rabies shots for puppies and kittens by the time they are 3 months of age, with booster shots when they are one year old. After the booster shot, all cats and dogs require a new rabies shot every three years. Domesticated ferrets require rabies shots annually, according to NYS Department of Health fact sheets. New York state parks, most boarding kennels and most dog training programs require proof of rabies vaccination for animals on their grounds.
Readers who plan to vacation along the St. Lawrence Seaway or travel to Canada should be prepared to provide proof of current rabies vaccinations for each pet in their vehicle at US-Canada border crossings. Campers and people who visit New York state parks for day use must be able to present a valid rabies certificate for each domestic animal they bring into the park.
The Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health maintains a website which includes past and current rabies information for each county in New York state. The most current monthly, 2011 year-to-date summary tables and visual state map shows animals positive for rabies by county through April 30, 2011.
Wadsworth statisticians have recently released the Center's 2010 Annual Rabies Summary Report, which includes the number of rabies cases throughout New York state by species and county. In 2010 Wadsworth's laboratory received 271 samples from Onondaga county which produced seven confirmed cases of rabies in various species: one cat, three skunks, two bats and one raccoon. 2010 saw a 27-unit increase over the 244 samples submitted for analysis in 2009, but the number of samples that tested positive and the types of animals in which rabies was found held steady at seven positives.
Animal Disease Control and the Onondaga County Health Department remind owners to hold their pets close to them, or keep them confined in a crate while in the clinic. For more information about the Onondaga County free rabies shot clinic program, contact Animal Disease Control at 315-435-3165.
Can't make this clinic? Additional free rabies shot clinics are scheduled through December, 2011 in various locations throughout Onondaga county.
The next Onondaga county free rabies shot clinic is on Monday, June 27, 5 - 7 p.m. at the Cicero Highway Garage, 8236 S. Main St., Cicero.
Readers who live in Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Herkimer, Oswego or Oneida county should check Utica Dogs and Utica Pet Health, both written by Debra Eldredge, DVM, for updates to rabies shot clinic schedules in surrounding counties.
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