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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2017

Save the Date to Vaccinate Your Pet(s): DHEC-sponsored rabies vaccination clinics

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Veterinarians across South Carolina are joining forces with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) this spring to help owners protect themselves, their families, communities, and pets against rabies.

As required by state law, all pet owners must vaccinate their dogs, cats, and ferrets.

"Participating veterinarians will vaccinate dogs, cats, and ferrets during the spring clinics," said Sandra Craig, director of DHEC's Division of Food Protection and Rabies Prevention. "Rabies vaccination fees may vary by clinic site, but no vet participating in these clinics will charge more than $10 per pet."

Local veterinarians offer vaccines year-round, but the spring clinics help raise awareness about rabies while also providing convenience to pet owners. The support from local veterinarians during the spring clinics provide a valuable public service to our citizens.

While not required by state law, DHEC strongly recommends that owners also vaccinate all horses, any livestock that has frequent contact with humans, any livestock that is particularly valuable, or animals used for the production of raw milk or raw milk product.

Hundreds of South Carolinians must undergo preventive treatment for rabies every year due to exposure to a rabid or suspected rabid animal.

"Rabies is a threat to pets, livestock, wild animals, and humans. Pet owners must stay vigilant and keep their pets current on their vaccinations," said Craig. 

Keeping your pets up to date on their rabies vaccinations is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can protect yourself, your family, and your pets from this fatal disease.

In 2016, there were 94 positive cases of rabies confirmed in animals across the state including 43 raccoons, 18 skunks, 11 foxes, 10 bats, six cats, four dogs, one horse, and one deer. No cases of rabies were confirmed in animals last year in Abbeville, Allendale, Bamberg, Calhoun, Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Kershaw, Marion, Marlboro, or Williamsburg counties. Positive rabies cases have been reported in every county in our state since the statewide program began.

Spring clinic dates, times, and locations can be found on DHEC's website at
http://www.scdhec.gov/Health/DiseasesandConditions/InfectiousDiseases/InsectAnimalBorne/Rabies/Clinics/.

For more information on rabies, please visit our website at http://www.dhec.sc.gov/rabies/.  

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DHEC Media Relations
media@dhec.sc.gov
(803) 898-7769