The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department will have a "Roadside Rabies" clinic for local cats and dogs to be quickly and easily vaccinated.
The clinic will be from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department parking lot at 108 Lee St. E. The cost is $10, and only cash will be accepted.
"One of the primary reasons we're offering it is to increase our animal vaccination rates as we often have to recommend rabies vaccination to animal bite victims because the biting animals are unvaccinated," said Brandon Merritt, regional epidemiologist at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. "Our animal bite data indicates only about 30 percent of all dogs in the county are currently vaccinated against rabies."
A licensed veterinarian will administer all vaccines while supplies last. Pet owners will receive a tag for each pet vaccinated. Dogs must be leashed, and cats must remain in a carrier.
The event is in collaboration with the Kanawha-Charleston Animal Shelter, Dog Bless and the Kanawha County Commission.
"If animals have rabies, it really is a risk to the community - you never know when rabies will show up," said Donna Clark, the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association executive director. "When the Health Department asked if we'd like to join, we jumped on because it also benefits us.
"It cuts down the risk to the shelter as well as the humane officers going out. It cuts down the risk to the public. If a dog or cat bites, we have to mandate the animal be held for 10 days for rabies observation. If it breaks skin and we don't know if the animal has received a rabies shot, the person has to start taking rabies shots."
Clark said she's hoping to have at least 500 dogs and cats vaccinated.