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Local health departments sponsor rabies clinics

Rabies vaccinations are required by law for all dogs and cats. (Cropped Photo: kitty.green66 / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department encourages all pet owners to get their animals vaccinated against rabies. This year’s low-cost rabies clinics will offer 60 locations around Hamilton County from April 21-29. The price is $12 per pet. Rabies vaccinations are required by law for all dogs and cats.

“Vaccinating our pets is the most important buffer between humans and the wild animal population where the rabies virus mostly lives,” explains Health Department Director of Environmental Health Services Bonnie Deakins, “The rabies vaccine is not just protecting your pet, it’s protecting public health.”

Rabies is caused by a virus that affects the nervous system. The usual mode of rabies transmission is by the introduction of saliva containing the rabies virus into a bite wound. Any mammal, such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats, dogs, and cats can get and transmit rabies. Once the infected person or animal shows symptoms the disease is 100% fatal.

In 2016, the Health Department investigated 790 cases of animals biting humans just in Hamilton County. Thankfully, none of these cases were positive for rabies. Last year across the state, 49 animals tested positive for the virus, up from 33 positive cases in 2015.

Last year, the Hamilton County low cost annual rabies clinics delivered 2,616 vaccines.

This year’s rabies clinics are scheduled for the following dates. All clinics are from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.:

  • Friday, April 21
  • Saturday, April 22
  • Wednesday, April 26
  • Thursday, April 27 (Special Cat Only Clinics)
  • Friday, April 28
  • Saturday, April 29

For more information about clinic locations, please call the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department’s Environmental Health Services at (423) 209-8110 or go here. Partners this year include the Hamilton County Veterniary Association, the Humane Educational Society East Ridge Animal Control, and the McKamey Animal Center.

There are also rabies clinics planned in Dalton all day at several different clincis on Saturday, May 6th. The reduced cost for these events is $12.

  • Animal Hospital of Whitfield County, 1306 North Thornton Avenue, 8:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
  • Dalton Animal Care South, 1022 South Hamilton Street, 8:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.,
  • Dalton Animal Care North, 2685 Cleveland Highway, 8:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.
  • Higdon Animal Hospital, 1604 Hickory Street, 8:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.

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