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Early shots at clinic aims to fend off rabies
Eight cases reported so far this year
Dr. Alan Scott, with the help of assistant Taylor Sturgess, gives a poodle named Holly Dorminy a rabies shot Friday. There already have been eight cases of rabies in Hall County this year, which is about how many the county usually has in an entire year. - photo by Scott Rogers | The Times

If your pet hasn't had a rabies shot recently, it's time to get a booster.

Hall County Animal Control has reported eight cases of rabies in wild animals since Jan. 1.

"That's about the number that we usually have in an entire year," said Rick Aiken, president of the Humane Society of Hall County.

Most of the cases occurred in raccoons or skunks, and most were located in North Hall.

"We're having more encounters with wildlife because subdivisions are moving into their territory," Aiken said.

In several of the latest cases, a rabid animal came into contact with domestic dogs or cats. That creates a dilemma for the owner. If a pet has not been vaccinated, it must be placed into strict quarantine for six months, which can be expensive.

"One animal had to be euthanized recently because the owner couldn't afford quarantine," Aiken said.
The only way to avoid that tragic situation is to make sure all dogs and cats are vaccinated.

"Plus, it's a state law," Aiken said. "You can be cited for not having a rabies tag on your animal."

The Humane Society has scheduled a rabies vaccination clinic for next Saturday, March 22, in the animal shelter parking lot.

"We normally have four or five clinics a year during the summer months, but we didn't have one scheduled until May," Aiken said. "Because of the circumstances, we felt like we needed to have an additional clinic as soon as possible."

The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to noon at 845 West Ridge Road. There's a $10 fee for each rabies shot. Dogs and cats must be at least 3 months old, and they must be in carriers or on leashes.
Aiken said the clinic is for vaccinations only; no flea dips will be available this time.

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