IMPERIAL COUNTY – The Imperial County Public Health Department’s Animal Control office has announced the schedule for the upcoming low-cost Rabies Vaccination Clinics for 2016-2017. Imperial County Animal Control has been conducting Rabies Vaccination Clinics in Imperial County for over 46 years. The clinics are scheduled from November 5, 2016 through February 26, 2017, at various locations throughout Imperial County. Last year, more than 2,000 county dogs were vaccinated and licensed at clinics offered by Imperial County Animal Control.
The rabies vaccine protects dogs and cats from the rabies virus. Although rabies among domestic animals in Imperial County is rare, the area is considered high-risk due to the presence of rabies among wild bats and skunks. Even if a dog or cat has been vaccinated, if they come in contact with a wild skunk or bat, the recommendation is for the animal to be revaccinated as soon as possible. In Imperial County it is mandatory that all dogs over four months of age be vaccinated against rabies and licensed each year. The license is good through the date of issue. It is strongly recommended, although not mandatory, that all cats over four months of age also be vaccinated against rabies on a yearly basis. The fee for the Rabies Vaccine for dogs and cats is $6.00. County Dog Licenses will also be provided for a fee of $10.00 for male, $5.00 for a neutered male, $10.00 for a female, and $5.00 for a spayed female. Clinics will be held in various locations of the county including Desert Shores, Salton City, Niland, Ocotillo, Palo Verde, and Winterhaven. No appointment is necessary to attend the clinics.
According to Beatrice Palacio, Animal Control Supervisor for the Imperial County Public Health Department, “the Rabies Vaccination Clinics are held for the public’s convenience. Animal Control takes the clinics to remote areas throughout the county so the public can have access to the vaccine at low cost.”
In addition, the Public Health Department will offer testing for Rickettsia Rickettsii, the bacteria that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever, at each of the clinics held in El Centro, Niland, Niland Slabs, Heber, Westmorland, Calipatria, Desert Shores, Salton City, Ocotillo, Seeley, Winterhaven, Palo Verde, and Holtville. A total of 400 samples will be collected and tested. Testing will be offered during the events that will be held on November 5th and 20th, December 11th and 17th, 2016. Testing will also be offered during the events that will be held on January 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, and 29th, and February 11th, 12th, 18th, & 19th, 2017. There is no cost for the testing, and rabies vaccine will be at no cost for participating dogs.
The rabies vaccine and county licenses are also available from local veterinarians, and county licenses only are available at Imperial County Animal Control located at 1329 South Sperber Road, El Centro from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, and 8:00 am to 12:00 pm on Saturdays.
The following are things people can do to protect their pets from rabies:
- Individuals should visit their veterinarian with their pet on a regular basis and keep rabies vaccinations up-to-date for all cats and dogs.
- People should maintain control of their pets by keeping cats indoor and keeping dogs under direct supervision.
- Pets should be spayed or neutered to help reduce the overpopulation of unwanted pets.
- The public can contact Animal Control to report any stray and wild animals from their neighborhood as these animals may be unvaccinated or ill.
For general information about the Rabies Vaccination Clinics, please contact Imperial County Animal Control at (442) 265-2655, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at icphd.org