Wednesday, April 17, 2013
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is partnering with participating veterinarians across the state to help residents protect their pets and themselves against rabies, the agency announced earlier this week.
"Participating veterinarians will be conducting rabies clinics to vaccinate dogs, cats, and ferrets against this fatal disease," said Sue Ferguson of DHEC's Bureau of Environmental Health Services. "Vaccination fees in these clinics will not exceed $10 per pet.
"Rabies is a threat to pets, wild animals and humans, so all pet owners should have their dogs, cats and ferrets vaccinated as required by state law," Ferguson said. “The disease is fatal once the virus reaches the brain.”
Each year nearly 275 South Carolinians are recommended to undergo preventive treatment after being bitten by a rabid or suspected rabid animal.
In 2012, there were 137 positive cases of rabies confirmed in animals in the state, including 66 raccoons, 25 bats, 21 skunks, 18 foxes, four cats, two cows, and one bobcat.
"The contribution of local veterinarians to this annual effort provides a valuable public service to our citizens,” Ferguson said. “More than 29,000 pets were vaccinated against rabies during the clinics last year."
For dates, times and locations of DHEC-sponsored rabies vaccination clinics and additional information on rabies, visit the agency's website at http://www.scdhec.gov/rabies.