COOPERSTOWN – In conjunction with the Otsego County Department of Health, the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) will be holding free weekly rabies vaccination clinics on-site for the foreseeable future.
According to SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes, the shelter will schedule 10 appointments for pet dogs, cats and ferrets on Wednesday afternoons from 1-6 p.m. and 6 appointments on Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon. Scheduling will be done in 30-minute increments to allow for proper social distancing.
Registration for five consecutive Wednesdays and Thursdays (April 22-23, April 29-30, May 6-7, May 13-14 and May 20-21) will begin on Monday, April 20 at 10 a.m. by calling (607) 547-8111, extension 108. Appointments will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis until all available slots have been filled. There is a limit of 15 pets per person.
“We are so proud to partner with Otsego County to help continue this critical community program,” said SQSPCA Executive Director. “As an essential service with emergency protocols currently in place, we are confident we can keep folks safe from one disease (COVID-19) while working to prevent another (rabies).”
The SQSPCA requirements for pet owners will follow Otsego County guidelines:
- Previous rabies vaccination certificate must be presented to receive a three-year booster (NO exceptions).
- Dogs must be on a leash and under proper control.
- Cats and ferrets should be in a pillow case or carrying case.
According to the Otsego County Department of Health, the vaccine being used gives one-year protection for domestic dogs and cats receiving their first vaccination and three-year protection for domestic dogs and cats receiving a booster.
“Compulsory vaccination is required for all dogs and cats in Otsego County. The incidence of confirmed positive rabies cases in wild animals continues, the most recent of which being a rabid skunk in the Town of Hartwick,” said Heidi Bond, Otsego County Director of Public Health.
“Every dog and cat three months of age or older is required to be vaccinated, even pet dogs and cats that stay inside, and domesticated ferrets require vaccination each year,” Bond explained.
New York State law requires all dogs to be licensed. A license will not be issued for a time period extending beyond the date of the dog’s rabies certificate. It is also New York State law that any unvaccinated pet exposed to a rabid or suspected rabid animal be euthanized or quarantined for six months at the owner’s expense, and that any unvaccinated pet that bites be confined for 10 days at a facility at the owner’s expense.
In operation since 1917, the Susquehanna SPCA is a 501c3 charitable organization committed to caring for homeless, surrendered, and seized companion animals and finding them loving, forever homes. For more information or to donate, visit www.sqspca.org