CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. -- To help curb the spread of rabies in Westchester County, Cortlandt Animal Hospital is offering free pet vaccinations for one day in August.
Local residents can make appointments at the Cortlandt Animal Hospital at 1 Dogwood Road in Cortlandt Manor from 1 to 5 p.m. on Aug. 3 to receive free vaccination for their dogs or cats, sponsored by the Westchester County Health Department.
“Vaccinating your pet against rabies will protect your pet and your family in case your pet has contact with a rabid or potentially rabid animal,” said Westchester County Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler, in a news release.
Cats must be in carriers and dogs must be on a leash. Dogs that are aggressive towards people or other dogs are not allowed, and no examinations will be given, according to the release.
Rabies is a "fatal disease that is spread through the bite or saliva of infected animals," according to the release.
Under New York State law, dogs and cats must receive their first rabies vaccine no later than four months after birth and owners who fail to comply could be fined up to $2,000, according to the Westchester County Department of Health.
"A pet that is up-to-date with its rabies vaccinations would only need to get a booster dose of vaccine within five days of the pet’s exposure to a known or suspect rabid animal," DOH representatives said in the release. "Animals not up-to-date with rabies vaccinations would need to be quarantined or potentially euthanized following contact with a rabid or suspect-rabid animal."
All animal bites or contacts with animals suspected of having rabies are asked to be reported to the Westchester County Health Department at 914- 813-5000.
Those interested in learning more about rabies and its prevention, residents can call the Rabies Hotline at 914-813-5010 to hear a taped message or visit the Health Department’s website.
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