In an effort to prevent the spread of rabies, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano today announced that Nassau County will partner with the Town of North Hempstead to offer free rabies vaccinations for dogs, cats and ferrets. Open to all Nassau County residents, the clinic will be held on Saturday, May 4th from 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. at the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter, 75 Marino Avenue, Port Washington, New York11050.
“This partnership is an excellent opportunity for pet-owners to protect their animals against rabies,” said County Executive Ed Mangano. “The best protection from rabies is to assure that pets are up-to-date with their vaccinations. I invite and urge all Nassau County residents to take advantage of this free vaccination clinic.”
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.
Raccoon rabies was identified in the county in 2004, since then 67 raccoons have tested positive for the disease. “Due to the successful public health efforts of the Nassau County Department of Health, I am proud to announce that Nassau County has not had a raccoon test positive for rabies since 2007,” said Mangano.
Rabies 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 cut, open, or scratched skin lesions. To protect from exposure to possible rabies, residents are advised to take the following measures:
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.
For information regarding rabies visit the department website at www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/health/index.html 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.