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Rabies clinics

LIBERTY With the coming of warm weather, and increased contact between wildlife, humans and their pets, the Sullivan County Public Health Nursing Service reminds all Sullivan County residents that it is prepared to help anyone who may have been exposed to rabies or who has questions about the disease.

Pet owners need to know that if an unvaccinated pet, or one that's overdue on its vaccination, comes in contact with a rabid or suspected rabid animal, the pet must either be destroyed or strictly quarantined for six months. It is also essential that all pet vaccinations are kept up to date. Vaccinated animals that come in contact with wild animals can be given booster vaccinations, but these shots must be administered within five days of exposure.

Bat rabies continues to be of particular concern. Although 99 percent of all bats tested by the State Health Department are negative for rabies, residents must remain aware of the risks of developing rabies from any contact with a bat. If you find a bat in your home, immediately contact Sullivan County Public Health Nursing Service.

Here are some common sense steps you can follow to avoid exposure to rabies:

  • If you are bitten, scratched or have contact with an animal you believe to be rabid, immediately wash the wound, seek medical attention and report the incident to Public Health Nursing Service.
  • To avoid unnecessary rabies treatment, all potentially rabid animals which may have exposed someone, should be confined and observed or tested for rabies. Contact Sullivan County Public Health Nursing Service.
  • Although a bite from a rabid animal is the primary way for rabies to be transmitted, contact the Sullivan County Public Health Nursing Service regarding exposure after any contact with an animal that may be rabid.
  • Avoid contact with any wild animal. Be suspicious of wild animals that are unusually tame or aggressive, especially those that attack your pets. Do not attract wild or stray animals to your yard by feeding them.
  • Do not handle pets with bare hands after an involvement with a suspected rabid wild animal. Pet owners should keep a pair of thick gloves handy for just such situations, and should bathe pets after wildlife encounters whenever possible.
  • Seek advice regarding bat roosts in homes. Immediately report any possible contact with bats, including bats in rooms with sleeping persons, unattended children or individuals with mental impairment.

The staff of Sullivan County Public Health Nursing Service is available 24 hours daily to respond to rabies questions.

SPCA of Sullivan County, Jeffersonville and Tri-Valley Lions Clubs will hold the following rabies clinics in 2001:

May 22 Town Barn in Livingston Manor, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., sponsored by the SPCA

May 23 Narrowsburg Firehouse, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., sponsored by KAL

June 5 Callicoon Center Fire Department, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., sponsored by the SPCA

June 6 Grahamsville Fairgrounds, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., sponsored by the Tri-Valley Lions

June 27 Eldred Town Hall, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., sponsored by KAL

July 11 Morningside Park Pavilion/Fallsburg, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., sponsored by KAL

July 18 Liberty Firehouse on Sprague Ave., 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., sponsored by KAL

July 25 Town of Thompson Highway Dept, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., sponsored by the SPCA

August 14 Kauneonga Lake Firehouse Polebarn/Bethel, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., sponsored by the SPCA

August 22 Town of Mamakating Highway Dept., 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., sponsored by KAL.

September 5 Grahamsville Fairgrounds, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., sponsored by the Tri-Valley Lions

Pets should be at least three months old, in a container or on a leash. Owners are asked to bring pet's documented vaccination record or a prior rabies vaccination certificate. A donation is suggested at all clinics. For routine inquiries and requesting information call 845/292-0100, ext. 1.


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