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North Hempstead Partners With Nassau County Department of Health to Host Free Rabies Clinic


For Immediate Release                                                                                                                       Media Contacts: Collin Nash and Sid Nathan
Nov. 10, 2010                                                                                                                                                                                (516) 869-7794
North Hempstead Partners With Nassau County Department of Health to Host Free Rabies Clinic

Port Washington, NY—In support of Nassau County’s efforts to eradicate raccoon rabies and comply with New York State vaccination laws, Supervisor Jon Kaiman and the North Hempstead Town Board, in partnership with the Nassau County Department of Health, announce a free rabies vaccination clinic for cats and dogs.

Open to everyone, the November 20th clinic will be held from 10:00 AM to 1:00 P.M. at the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter located at 75 Marina Avenue, Port Washington.

Attendees are urged to please keep dogs on leashes and cats in carriers.

“Public safety is a top priority in North Hempstead,” said Supervisor Kaiman. “With that in mind, it is more important than ever to immunize pets for their protection as well as for the safety of families and their loved-ones.”

Rabies, an acute viral disease of the nervous system, is transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal. However, the virus may also be transmitted when the saliva of a rabid animal comes into contact with a cut or scratched skin lesions. To protect from exposure to rabies, residents are advised to take the following measures:

• Keep domestic animals (dogs, cats, ferrets) on a leash and keep livestock confined in the evenings.
• Advise your family against approaching any unknown animal—wild or domestic—especially those acting in an unusual way.
• Do not touch dying or dead animals. If you must move them, use a shovel, wear heavy rubber gloves and double bag the carcass.
• Do not touch or have contact with any animal other than your own.
• Instruct your children to tell you immediately if they were bitten or scratched by any animal.
• Notify the Nassau County Department of Health immediately if a bat is found in a room where people were sleeping or if an adult enters a room and finds a bat with a child. Do not release the bat.
• Do not feed unknown animals and discourage them from seeking food near your home by keeping garbage cans tightly covered. Avoid storing any food including pet food outside.
• Verify that your pets have current rabies vaccination, including dogs, cats, ferrets, livestock and horses.

New York State law requires all dogs, cats and domesticated ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies. If an unvaccinated pet or one that is overdue on its vaccination comes in contact with a rabid or suspected rabid animal, the pet must either be destroyed or strictly quarantined for six months. However, if a vaccinated animal comes into contact with a wild animal, it needs only a booster vaccination, but this immunization must be administered within five days of exposure. If you care for your family and your pet, it is absolutely essential that your animals have up-to-date rabies vaccinations.

Individuals bitten or scratched by any animal should immediately contact their health care providers or seek medical help at a hospital emergency room and then call the Nassau County Department of Health.

If you don’t vaccinate your pet, you won't, at the very least, be able to board them, participate in training classes or shows, or use a professional groomer. Many vets will insist on vaccination before boarding or treating your pet. And if your unvaccinated dog or cat bites or scratches anyone, or is picked up by Animal Control, there will surely be a stiff fine and your pet will be impounded and vaccinated.

For information regarding rabies, visit the department website at www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/health/ or the state website at www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/zoonoses/rabies or call the Nassau County Department of Health at (516) 227-9663 or the New York State Department of Health at (518) 474-3186.

For more information regarding the free rabies clinic, call 311 from inside North Hempstead or 516-869-6311 from outside the town.
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