Protect your pets from rabies through local low-cost vaccination program

Columbia and Lafayette County residents have an opportunity to protect their pets from rabies and benefit their county 4-H program the same time. Columbia County veterinarians will be holding rabies vaccination clinics Saturday, April 2. The cost of the vaccination is $12 per animal, but $1 from the cost of each vaccination is donated to local 4-H clubs.

State law requires dogs and cats to be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian.  However, pet owners who care about their pets would still want to see that their pets were vaccinated even if the law were absent.  If a pet contracts the disease, by the time it has progressed to the point of producing visible symptoms there is no cure and death occurs within a few days.  Vaccination provides protection against the disease. (Continue reading to find out more, including where the local veterinarians will hold their clinics!)

Rabies is also a fatal disease of humans. If a person is bitten by an animal which then tests positive for rabies, the person will have to undergo a series of medical treatments to prevent the disease.

Infected wild animals are always present in every county, but the prevalence of the disease goes through cycles with it being more common some years than others. Pets often contract the disease after tangling with an infected wild animal

Wild animals which have bitten a person should be humanely destroyed, without damaging the head, and the head shipped to the Arkansas Department of Health lab for testing.

Pet dogs, cats, and ferrets which have bitten humans should be quarantined for 10 days.  If the animal is well 10 days after the bite occurred, it could not have transmitted rabies, and may be released from quarantine. If it shows signs of rabies, it should be humanely destroyed and the head submitted for rabies testing.

The vaccination clinics will be conducted by Dr. Raymond Whitehead of Animal Care Hospital and Dr. Randy Hayes of Franks-Hayes Animal Hospital.  Cost of vaccination is twelve dollars per dog or cat.

The scheduled stops for Dr Raymond Whitehead are:

Keith’s Grocery 9:00-9:30

Walkerville Grocery 10:00 – 10:15

Emerson High School (Agri Building) 10:30 – 10:45

Waldo Post Office 11:15 – 11:30

Stops for Dr. Charles Hayes are:

Louis Wilson Store 8:00 to 8:15

McNeil City Hall  8:30 to 9:00

Rudd’s Crossing  9:20 to 9:30

Buckner Post Office 10:00 to 10:20

Stamps Triangle 10:30-11:00

Lewisville Courthouse 11:15 – 11:45

The donations to 4H will go to the 4H program in the county where the vaccination took place.

Please be patient if the veterinarians are a few minutes late as problems may throw them off schedule.  Also, please have pets on a leash or in an animal carrier for their own protection as well as protection of other animals.

The clinics are open to anyone without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status. The Cooperative Extension Service is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

For more information about the clinics contact the Columbia County office of the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service at 235-3720.

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