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  • Santa Rosa County Drive Through Rabies Vaccination Clinic October 21, 2022

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    October 07, 2022

    October 7, 2022                                                                                  
    Dana Grissom, PIO

    Milton, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County (DOH-Santa Rosa) and Santa Rosa Animal Control will host a drive-through rabies vaccination clinic for dogs and cats, Friday, October 21, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Animal Services facility, 4451 Pine Forest Road in Milton.
    Veterinarians from Pace Veterinary Clinic and The Ark Animal Hospital will provide the vaccine and administer the injections for a $10.00 fee.  Cash and checks are only payment methods accepted. A valid driver’s license will be required for all checks.  A certificate of vaccination and rabies tag will be provided.  No other services will be available.  Pets must be secured in a vehicle, crate or on leash. 

    “We are happy to be able to partner with Animal Control and the local veterinarians to provide this service,” said R. Matthew Dobson, Administrator of DOH-Santa Rosa.  “These clinics are always well attended.  Typically, the veterinarians and their staff will vaccinate 200 to 300 dogs and cats.  It’s a very worthwhile effort.” 

    Rabies is a disease that affects the brain.  The virus is carried in the saliva of infected animals and is usually transmitted to people and other animals through a bite or scratch.  In the U.S., more than 90 percent of rabies cases occur in wild animals, such as raccoons, foxes, skunks and bats, but domesticated animals can carry it as well.  

    Rabies is fatal to humans and animals. However, vaccines can prevent rabies in humans if administered immediately after exposure. An animal suffering from rabies may appear sick or lethargic, have problems swallowing, or drool or salivate excessively.  A wild animal may appear tamer than usual and try to approach people.  Some animals may have no visible symptoms at all.  Even baby animals can carry rabies.  That is why avoiding contact with adult and baby animals is essential. The best and easiest way to prevent pets from contracting rabies is by getting them a rabies shot. 

    The Department of Health advises the public to take these precautions to avoid exposing themselves or their pets to rabies: 
    • Avoid all contact with wild and unfamiliar domesticated animals, both adult and young.  Never attempt to pick up or pet a wild or unfamiliar animal. 
    • Do not try to help wounded animals or baby animals that appear to be orphaned. Contact animal control to deal with domesticated animals and the nearest Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Office, or a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, for wild animals. For a list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators, go to   https://myfwc.com/conservation/you-conserve/wildlife/injured-orphaned/ 
    • Do not place feeders in the yard – food will attract unwanted animals such as raccoons and foxes. 
    • Do not leave pets outside unsupervised. 
    • Bring in pet food at night and secure trash cans with fasteners. 
    • Cover bird feeders.  Most squirrel-proof coverings also deter wild animals. 
    • Children should never chase or attempt to catch or touch a wild or unfamiliar animal, and should tell an adult if a wild or strange animal tries to approach them. 
    • Vaccinate pets against rabies and keep their vaccinations up to date.  Follow your veterinarian’s recommendation for revaccination.  
    If bitten or scratched by a wild animal, or stray domesticated animal, wash the wound immediately with soap and water.  This is the first line of defense against rabies!  Seek medical attention immediately and report the incident to Santa Rosa Animal Control at 983-5680, or the Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County at 983-5200. 

    For more information on the drive-through clinic, contact Tom Verlaan at 983-5200, ext. 2278 or Kimberly Pace at 983-5200, ext. 2312.     

     For more information about rabies, visit our website at http://santarosa.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/environmental-health/rabies-surveillance/index.html or the Centers for Disease Control at http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/. 
    About the Florida Department of Health 
    The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. 
    Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov. 
    Public Information Office
    Florida Department of Health
    Santa Rosa County