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Rabid domestic cat serves as reminder
Vaccines available from animal shelter, humane society
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Where to get rabies shots

Rabies and Wellness Clinic
What: Rabies shot, feline and canine vaccines, kennel cough vaccine, flea and tick treatments, deworming medicine, nail trimming
Where: Tailwaggers, 2376 Murphy Blvd., Gainesville
When: 8:30 a.m. to noon today
Cost: $10 per shot, $20 for microchip service, $5 for nail trimming service and proceeds go to the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia

Humane Society of Northeast Georgia
When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday
Where: 845 W. Ridge Road, Gainesville
Cost: $10

Hall County Animal Shelter
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday
Where: 1688 Barber Road, Gainesville
Cost: $10



Local animal control officials are still investigating a case of rabies discovered in Oakwood this week, and residents are checking whether their own pets are vaccinated.

"That was scary, that cat having rabies. You normally don't see it in domestic animals," said Rick Aiken, president of the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia. "We want to make sure every pet has rabies shots. A lot of people don't understand they can prevent it. Rabies is what they call 100 percent fatal, and the three or four people who have survived it in the U.S. are basically vegetables."

The Humane Society is hosting a Rabies and Wellness Clinic
with Tailwaggers off Browns Bridge Road today. Pet owners can pay for rabies, feline, canine and kennel cough shots, as well as microchip service, flea and tick treatment and nail trimming.

"We were planning this already because we try to do it in the summer when people are available, but it comes at a good time," Aiken said. "These shots really are important, and we're trying to reach those animals that haven't been to a vet."

Vaccines also are available for $10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at the Hall County Animal Shelter at 1688 Barber Road in Gainesville and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia at 845 W. Ridge Road in Gainesville.

"It's an extremely important thing and a state law that all dogs and cats have to be vaccinated," Aiken said. "We don't see it that often in domestic animals because there's a good vaccination program, but it's not just for the safety of your pet but the safety for yourself and the community."

Officials are still investigating the Oakwood case, where a rabid domestic cat came in contact with three people over the weekend in the Valley Court area. The cat was confirmed rabid Wednesday. Before it was contained, the cat playfully scratched and bit three people while it could have been infected with the virus, Hall County Animal Control Supervisor Mike Ledford said.

"There's a whole lot going on today with the case that we're still trying to verify before we release any information," he said Friday. "We'll advise the public after test results come back."

Ledford asks anyone who sees an animal acting abnormally to contact Hall County Animal Services at 770-531-6830 or Hall County Dispatch at 770-536-8812.

"Don't try to approach it, and don't try to handle it. Let us deal with it," he said. "They also need to get their pets and keep them confined on the property so they don't mingle with an animal that could possibly have rabies."

This is the only incident in recent memory in which a domestic animal with rabies came into contact with a human, Ledford said. Although some residents may feed stray animals, Ledford strongly discourages it.

"If it's an animal you're not familiar with, let it be," Ledford said. "If it's a stray, let us take care of it and handle it. That's what we're here for."


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