Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

May 2, 2013

Rabies clinic set for Saturday

By CHARLES OWENS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — A low-cost rabies clinic will be held Saturday at several locations across Mercer County.

Area dog and cat owners are urged to take advantage of the low-cost clinic to ensure that their pets are up to date on their rabies vaccinations, according to Doris Irwin, RN BSW, at the Mercer County Health Department.

Irwin said Dr. Gary Brown, DVM of the Animal Care Center is providing the low-cost rabies clinic. The rabies vaccine will be provided for $7, and other vaccines also will be available for a reduced cost. The clinic times and locations Saturday are as follows:

• Airport Square, Brushfork, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

• Noon to 1:30 p.m.., Athens Feed Store-Deli Mart, Athens.

• 2 to 3 p.m., Animal Care Center off Willowbrook Road, Princeton.

Residents are asked to keep their pet on a leash or in a carrier for their safety.

Irwin said rabies, which is a deadly virus, continues to be a problem in the animal population in Mercer County. So far this year three raccoons have tested positive for rabies.

Irwin said the Mercer County Health Department urges pet owners to make sure their animals are up to date on their rabies vaccinations. In West Virginia, rabies shots are required every three years under state law.

In order to prevent the spread of rabies, Irwin said the health department reminds pet owners not to feed their pets outdoors. Many pets have been attacked at outdoor food bowls. Food left outdoors also attracts wild and stray animals.

If you are bitten by an animal — wild or domestic — wash the wound with warm soapy water, according to the health department press release. And then call your health care provider at once to determine if you need a rabies shot. Animal bites also must be reported to the Mercer County Health Department at 304-324-8367.

— Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com