POUGHKEEPSIE – The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) is partnering with the Dutchess County SPCA to host a free rabies vaccination clinic for pets on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at the Dutchess County SPCA located at 636 Violet Ave in Hyde Park from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. This clinic is open to dogs, cats, and domestic ferrets 3 months of age and older. Pre-registration is required and will open on Wednesday, January 24th. Residents can register at DCSPCA.org or by calling the DCSPCA at 845-452-7722 extension 425.
The clinic is free for Dutchess County residents; non-residents will be charged a fee of $10 per pet vaccinated. All dogs must be on leash, and cats and domestic ferrets must be in carriers. Vaccinations will be good for three years for pets with proper proof of a prior immunization. For those without proof, the vaccination will be good for one year.
Rabies vaccinations are required by New York State law for all cats, dogs, and domestic ferrets by the age of four months of age. Pet owners are required to revaccinate on a regular schedule to keep the animal properly immunized against the rabies virus.
DBCH diligently investigates and monitors rabies exposure cases throughout the county. In 2023, 95 animal specimens were tested, 729 people were evaluated for rabies exposure with 109 people treated with post exposure prophylaxis.
The County offers three to four clinics each year. In 2023, more than 400 pets were vaccinated through these clinics and DCBH’s community partnerships.
DBCH is available 24/7 to assist with any questions or concerns regarding potential rabies exposure to people or domestic animals. Pet owners should report to DCBH any incident in which their pet has been bitten by or has an open wound exposed to the saliva or nervous tissue of a domestic or wild animal. Staff will investigate and advise the pet owner of any necessary steps they should take to ensure the safety of their animal.
Residents who see an animal acting strangely are advised to contact their local police agency. If a person has been bitten, or a domestic pet is bitten or is in contact, with any animal, they’re to contact DBCH immediately at 845-486-3404 Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or 845-431-6465 on nights and weekends.
To learn more about rabies please visit dutchessny.gov/rabies or contact DCBH at HealthInfo@dutchessny.gov.