Loudoun County Animal Services is offering a low-cost Rabies Vaccination Clinic to help pet owners meet state-required cat and dog vaccination requirements.
The clinic will be open for cats and dogs, noon to 3 p.m. April 23 at the Loudoun County Animal Shelter, 39820 Charles Town Pike in Waterford. All cats and dogs over the age of four months are required by Virginia law to be regularly vaccinated against rabies.
LCAS will provide rabies vaccinations for pets older than 12 weeks, at $10 per cat and $20 per dog, as opposed to the $100 to $200 fee owners may see at the vet for vaccines. Last year more than 100 cats and dogs were vaccinated against rabies during this event.
Dogs with an existing county-required license will have their license automatically renewed and unlicensed dogs will receive a new license at no extra cost.
Pet owners should bring any prior vaccination records. Owners should bring cats in a carrier and dogs should be on a leash of six feet or less and not on a retractable, “flexi” leash. Those wishing to purchase a three-year vaccine must bring proof of prior vaccination for veterinarian review. The three-year vaccine will only be available while supplies last.
Most rabies cases occur in wildlife but when people are exposed to rabies, it is usually the result of an encounter with an infected domestic animal, according to a release from LCAS. Rabies is potentially contagious to pets and humans, and is almost always fatal when left untreated. However, high rates of vaccination have led to a decline in the disease nationwide.
According to the CDC, each year it sees reports of only one to three cases of human rabies, 80-100 cases of infected dogs and less than 300 cases of infected cats nationwide. Only 34 people have been diagnosed with rabies since 2003. Cats and dogs are usually infected by wildlife when they are not vaccinated against rabies.