Cats, dogs and ferrets will soon have a chance to quickly receive their rabies vaccinations. The annual rabies clinic, sponsored by the Animal Hospital of Walker County, will be held July …
Cats, dogs and ferrets will soon have a chance to quickly receive their rabies vaccinations.
The annual rabies clinic, sponsored by the Animal Hospital of Walker County, will be held July 16 through July 30 this year at a cost of $12 for each pet.
Veterinarian and Walker County Rabies Officer Sonny Springer will visit eight communities to vaccinate pets. It's a convenient service for pet owners, who don't even have to remove their furry friend from their vehicle to be vaccinated. Springer said people simply drive up to the rabies clinic location of their choice and hold their pet while he administers the vaccine that is required by Alabama law.
Springer said the shot is not only important for protecting pets, but also their owners. He said people often do not know their pet has rabies until they start showing signs of aggression.
"It's important to have a buffer zone between us and our pets," Springer said. "Once rabies starts ascending through the nervous system, there's nothing you can do about it. It's a very deadly disease."
He said the large variety of wildlife in Walker County and its many wooded areas put pets at a greater risk for contracting the virus.
"Walker County is a very rural area with foxes, coyotes and skunks. We have so many wild animals that carry rabies for you pet to come into contact with," he said.
Springer said cats can be especially at risk, since they are avid hunters.
All rabies clinics will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. at the following locations:
• Monday, July 16 - Carbon Hill High School
• Wednesday, July 18 - Townley Elementary School
• Thursday, July 19 - Oakman High School
• Monday, July 23 - Lupton Jr. High School
• Tuesday, July 24 - Old Thach School
• Wednesday, July 25 - Curry High School
• Thursday, Jul 26 - Cordova High School
• Monday, July 30 - Parrish Elementary School
For more information on the rabies clinic, call the Animal Hospital of Walker County at (205) 221-4500.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, early signs of animals infected with rabies include lethargy, fever, vomiting and refusal to eat. As the virus progresses, animals start exhibiting signs of damage to their nervous system, such as paralysis, seizures, breathing problems, aggression and other abnormal behaviors.