DHEC sets dates and locations for rabies vaccination clinics

Below is a news release from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control:

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The S.C. 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 today.

"Participating veterinarians will be conducting rabies clinics to vaccinate dogs, cats and ferrets against this fatal disease," said Sandra Craig 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 and humans, so all pet owners should have their dogs, cats and ferrets vaccinated as required by state law," Craig said. "Wild animals carry the disease most often, but domestic pets can contract rabies as well. 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 2013 there were 124 positive cases of rabies confirmed in animals in the state: 68 raccoons, 26 foxes, 17 skunks, six cats, five bats and two dogs.

"The contribution of local veterinarians to this annual effort provides a valuable public service to our citizens," Craig said. "More than 19,000 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.