Mangano Announces Free Rabies Vaccination Clinics For Dogs, Cats And Ferrets

In an effort to prevent the spread of rabies, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano today announced that Nassau County will partner with the Towns of Oyster Bay and North Hempstead and the Long Island Veterinary Medical Association to offer free rabies vaccinations for dogs, cats and ferrets. Open to all Nassau County residents, the vaccination clinics will be held on the following dates:

Saturday, September 21st, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Town of Oyster Bay Animal Shelter, 150 Miller Place, Syosset, New York 11791

Wednesday, September 25th from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.

“Yes We Can” Community Center, 141 Garden Street, Westbury, New York11590

“This is an excellent opportunity for pet-owners to protect their animals against rabies,” stated County Executive Mangano. “I invite and urge all Nassau County pet-owners to take advantage of this opportunity, and I thank both the Towns of Oyster Bay and North Hempstead for partnering with Nassau County.”

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 County Executive 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:

  • 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 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.

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 additional information on rabies call the Nassau County Department of Health at (516) 227-9663.