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What makes rabies vaccines important

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Greg Peck
April 24, 2013

The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta offer suggestions for protecting pets from rabies, a deadly viral disease.

“First, visit your veterinarian with your pet on a regular basis and keep rabies vaccinations up-to-date for all cats, ferrets and dogs.

“Second, maintain control of your pets by keeping cats and ferrets indoors and keeping dogs under direct supervision.”

This is something too many people in Janesville ignore—and they violate a city ordinance in the process.

“Third, spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or vaccinated regularly.

“Finally, call animal control to remove all stray animals from your neighborhood since these animals may be unvaccinated or ill.”

The CDC says that although most rabies cases occur in wildlife, “most humans are given the painful rabies vaccine as a result of exposure to domestic animals. This explains the tremendous cost of rabies prevention in domestic animals in the United States.”

The Rock County Health Department estimates that about 20,000 dogs and cats in Rock County—or 40 percent of canines and 65 percent of felines—aren’t vaccinated for rabies. Those are shameful numbers that create a health hazard.

If you find costs of care at a veterinary office too high and your pet needs a rabies vaccine, your chance to get it a low-cost shot is coming Saturday, April 27. A clinic will be from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Rock County 4-H Fairgrounds in Janesville, and each vaccine will cost just $10.

We’ll offer more emphasis and details and applaud those behind this clinic in one of our two editorials Thursday.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook



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