The first of an annual series of low-cost rabies clinics will take place next week on Wednesday, Sept. 29 in Creemore.
Local veterinarians, together with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit are offering the clinics with rabies vaccines for pets.
"Vaccinating cats and dogs against rabies protects your pet and family, and it's also the law," stated Felicia Ratiu, rabies program coordinator with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit in a news release. 'We are grateful for the veterinarians who are generously giving their time to these clinics. Their contribution helps to protect the people and animals living in our communities."
Clinics will be offering one and three-year vaccines, which will be administered based on the pet's vaccination status.
The Creemore clinic will be at Creemore Veterinary Services at 10 Francis St. East from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sept. 29. They will be offering three-year rabies boosters only (proof of previous vaccination is required). The cost is $30 and the clinic is accepting cash-only. It will be a drive-thru clinic.
There will be another low-cost rabies clinic (one- and three-year shots available) onOct. 16 in Barrie at the Holly Animal Hospital at 494 Veterans Drive.
The number of clinics is reduced this year, but there will be more between now and Oct. 30.
According to the health unit, the annual low-cost rabies clinic series provides vaccines to about 4,000 pets. Last year only about 1,000 pets were immunized as the COVID-19 pandemic led to reductions in the number of clinics offered.
Rabies is a fatal disease that can spread to humans through the bites or scratches of an infected animal. The region's health unit investigated 1,515 animal exposures last year, many of which resulted in people being vaccinated against rabies as a precaution.
In addition to having your pets vaccinated, the health unit recommends keeping pets indoors at night, and not allowing them to roam free at any time.
People should stay away from unfamiliar dogs, cats, and wildlife.
For more information about the clinics, visit smdhu.org/rabiesclinics or call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520, Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Clinics will have public health measures in place to prevent COVID-19 transmission.