The Saginaw Veterinary Health Center and Angels Among Us are sponsoring a free rabies vaccination clinic this weekend. The clinic is in conjunction with the 10th annual World Rabies Day Wednesday, Sep. 28.
Held Sep. 24-25 from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at the Buena Vista Community Center at 1940 S. Outer Dr., any dog at least 12 weeks old will eligible for the rabies vaccine.
While rabies affects animals primarily, it can also affect humans. Nearly 55,000 people die from rabies every year world wide, though only one or two people die in the U.S. In 2014, there were more than 6,000 reported cases of animal rabies in the U.S.
Veterinary Doctor Tina Roggenbeck says two bats in the area have tested positive for the disease so far this year. She says the clinic is a chance to educate the public the danger rabies poses.
“Many people aren’t even aware of the fact that if they are bitten by a bat or scratched by a bat, that that bat really should be held and sent in for rabies testing… So this is just something that is a positive for the community.”
Roggenbeck explains what to do with an animal in case you are bitten, regardless if the animal is rabid or not.
“If your dog or cat bites a human, that animal has to be held for 10 days on rabies watch. Your pet has to be… held in your house and not allowed to go outside for that 10 day period.”
Roggenbeck says if the bite was caused by a stray animal, the clinic foregoes the 10 day hold period and euthanizes the animal immediately.
Roggenbeck says while cats are just as susceptible to rabies as dogs, only dogs will be treated at the clinic, due to the open, outdoor atmosphere of the center. Dogs must be on a leash.