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No Low-Cost Rabies Vaccination Clinics this year

Low-cost clinics to vaccinate pets for rabies may be on hold this year, but not the message for local residents to protect their pets.

After discussions with local veterinarians, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit confirms Low-Cost Rabies Vaccination Clinics normally held each fall are cancelled in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. The aim is to resume the clinics in 2021.

“The logistics and challenges posed by COVID-19 made holding these clinics very difficult for vets, so the events have been cancelled for 2020,” notes Richard Ovcharovich, Manager of Health Protection with the HKPR District Health Unit. “We are reminding pet owners that they still have a legal requirement to ensure their dog or cat is up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations and schedule an appointment directly with their vet if a shot is required.”

The Health Unit’s call for pets to be vaccinated comes only days before World Rabies Day on Sept. 28 – a global event meant to highlight the importance of rabies vaccination to protect pets and people.

“Rabies is fatal, so getting pets vaccinated is an important part of caring for animals and being a responsible pet owner,” Ovcharovich adds. “By vaccinating your four-legged friend, you are also protecting the health of your family and loved ones.”

Protecting people from rabies is extra important when the Health Unit is reporting a noticeable rise in animal bites this year in the tri-county area – many of which involve pets or domestic animals. The spike in animal bites in 2020 follows a reported 672 animal bites in the region last year – the highest total in five years. Currently, the Health Unit is running a Keep Bites at Bay campaign to educate parents, children and pet owners on the importance of reducing the risk of bites and ensuring pets are vaccinated for rabies.

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